To confront climate change, US agriculture seeks hardier breeds that can survive long droughts | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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To confront climate change, US agriculture seeks hardier breeds that can survive long droughts

Cattle rancher Ron Gill puts out cottonseed feed for a calf reunited with it's mother in rural Parker County near Springtown, Texas, Wednesday, Aug. 1, 2012. Gill has been cross breeding cattle with more drought tolerant breeds that can withstand heat and droughts better. Cattle are being bred with genes from their African cousins who are accustomed to hot weather. New corn varieties are emerging with larger roots for gathering water in a drought. Someday, the plants may even be able to “resurrect” themselves after a long dry spell, recovering quickly when rain returns. (AP Photo/LM Otero)
August 08, 2012 - 3:03 PM

DES MOINES, Iowa - Confronted with the hottest, driest summer in decades, the nation's farmers and crop scientists are looking ahead to the future heat waves and water shortages that are expected to result from climate change.

They've concluded that it's too late to fight the shifting weather patterns. Instead, they are aiming to adapt with a new generation of hardier animals and plants specially engineered to survive in intense heat with little rain.

In Texas, a rancher is breeding cattle with genes that trace to animals from Africa and India, where their ancestors developed tolerance to heat and drought.

In seed laboratories, researchers are developing corn with larger roots to gather more water. Someday, the plants may even be able to "resurrect" themselves after a long dry spell, recovering quickly when rain returns.

News from © The Associated Press, 2012
The Associated Press

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