Recent news and highlights from around the wheat industry.
Speaking of Wheat. “I believe soil is a living thing … Every living thing has rights. Therefore, soil also has rights. As long as you are consuming the natural resources – food, water, elements – coming from the soil, you owe it to soil to put something back, to give something back, whatever you can.” – Dr. Rattan Lal, 2020 World Food Prize Laureate. For more information on how U.S. farmers are caring for the soil, visit our website at https://www.uswheat.org/policy/innovation-and-sustainability/.
Leading soil scientist Dr. Rattan Lal officially received the 2020 World Food Prize Oct. 15 for developing and mainstreaming a soil-centric approach to increasing food production that conserves natural resources and mitigates climate change. Dr. Lal’s pioneering research on the restoration of soil health in Africa, Asia and Latin America led to revelations that impacted yields, conservation and climate change mitigation, practices that are now at the heart of efforts to improve agriculture systems in the tropics and globally.
Argentine government approves wheat variety with GMO trait. The wheat variety includes a drought resistant trait developed by the biotechnology firm Bioceres SA. However, the variety cannot be used commercially without official acceptance for import by Brazil’s government. There are currently no genetically engineered wheat varieties in commercial production in the United States. For more information, please see the Joint Statement on “Principles for Commercialization” from U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) and the National Association of Wheat Growers (NAWG).
Pioneering wheat work recognized. A U.S. research team earned the Borlaug Global Rust Initiative (BGRI) 2020 Gene Stewardship award for their work protecting global wheat crops from fungal pathogens. The plant pathologists, geneticists and agronomists from the USDA Agricultural Research Service (ARS) were recognized for research leading to a diverse range of strategies introducing and improving resistance to stem rust—particularly the highly virulent Ug99 stem rust strain. Read more in Seed Today.
Extraordinary Biography of Wheat. A Montana State University (MSU) professor recently published the book, “Amber Waves: The Extraordinary Biography of Wheat, from Wild Grass to World Megacrop.” For Dr. Cathy Zabinski, a professor in the Department of Land Resources and Environmental Sciences in MSU’s College of Agriculture, the project meant getting out of her comfort zone in order to connect with her audience. “I wrote this to give us a sense of the history of our food production … helpful as we’re addressing the big question of how to produce enough food for the upcoming decades with a growing human population,” she said.
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