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GE corn may offset climate change effects

The following is an excerpt of an article on Western Livestock Journal that highlights a study showing GMO corn can help offset the effects of climate change.

Count Kansas State University (K-State) Agricultural Economist Jesse Tack among those who recognize unique challenges created by the world’s rising demand for food and changing climates across the globe.

Tack and Ariel Ortiz-Bobea of Cornell University recently published a study in the journal, Environmental Research Letters, looking at the impact of climate change on corn yields in eight Midwestern states. The study shows clearly that corn varieties improved by modern technology have an upside for overcoming emerging climate-change concerns.

The researchers paired 35 years of climatic data with U.S. producers’ adoption of genetically engineered (GE) corn to find out if incorporating a new technology can offset the effects of higher temperatures and other weather impacts.

These and other technologies “may be a fruitful strategy for counter-balancing climate change,” according to the researchers. Recently developed genetic engineering techniques, such as CRISPR, are likely to play a large role moving forward.

Tack said there is more work to be done to understand potential effects with other agricultural crops and in countries where GE crops are accepted.

“The hope is that this is not just a one-time, one-shot technological gain,” Tack said. “We think we can continue to press the envelope and continue to innovate and improve crop yields.”

Continue reading about the study in the Western Livestock Journal.