The problems of plenty

CARMAN, Man. (Reuters) — Prairie summers are generally considered too short to grow a decent corn crop on a major scale. But that’s been changing lately as the crop gradually creeps northward and westward as new crop genetics come into play. And now agricultural giant Monsanto is developing what it hopes will be North America’s […] Read more

New varieties rescue wheat crop

Much has been said about soil moisture reserves, but better genetics also saved crop yields from drought this year

Somewhere between $300 and $325 million — that’s how much the latest spring wheat varieties with superior water use efficiency may have added to Saskatchewan’s production this year. Farmers in many parts of Saskatchewan have been surprised this year by their crop yields, including spring wheat yields, because soil conditions have been exceptionally dry for […] Read more

Researchers building new stem rust resistance

Gene discoveries | Canadian officials working to stack resistant genes to guard crops against Ug99 stem rust

The discovery of three wheat genes that are resistant to Ug99 stem rust will help the Canadian wheat industry stay a step ahead of the devastating wheat disease. Canadian researchers, led by Agriculture Canada wheat pathologist Tom Fetch, have identified three previously undescribed wheat genes that are resistant to Ug99. Ug99 is a deadly race […] Read more

Study of sheep genetics reveals large diversity

LINDELL BEACH, B.C. — Research into sheep’s genetic history has found a healthy diversity that promises enormous potential for breeders and farmers. Sheep were first domesticated 11,000 years ago in the Fertile Crescent of what is now the Middle East. Today, there are more than 200 recognized breeds, of which researchers included 74 as part […] Read more

Time’s up: what happens when genetics patents run out?

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Patents are coming off of the original genetically modified crops, but the responsibilities for those genetics and technologies remain. The first GM crop was commercialized in 1996 with the placement of the glyphosate tolerant gene. The first GM biotech patent in Canada expired last year when Roundup Ready soybeans lost some of […] Read more