Earlier this week, the U.S. Department of Agriculture approved a drought resistant strain of corn developed by Monsanto, clearing the corn for sale in the United States.
Corn is the most prevalent crop grown in the United States with over 91 million acres grown this year alone. Over the last several years, corn production in the United States has skyrocketed, largely due to increased overseas demand and ethanol production.
Given the importance of corn to American farmers, the development of heartier strains has been a top concern for genetically modified food producers like Monsanto. When they applied for approval of their modified corn, Monsanto reported that about 40 percent of crop loss in North America was due to a lack of moisture.
According to a Monsanto official, “Our drought system is designed to help farmers mitigate the risk of yield loss when experiencing drought stress, primarily in areas of annual drought stress.”
Now that the USDA has approved Monsanto corn, Monsanto has announced that it plans farm trials across the Great Plains in order to prepare for commercial development and marketing.
Assuming the trials are successful, this new strain of corn could be sold globally, helping to ease international food shortages, particularly in drought-afflicted regions.
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Written by: Justin Ellison / Farm Plus Staff Writer