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Bayer's New Short Stature Corn Tested for Wind Resistance, Aims to Mitigate Weather Damage

USA 20.06.2024
Source: The DairyNews
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Bayer announced on Tuesday that its Preceon variety of short stature corn has shown resilience in trials, withstanding winds up to 75 mph (120 kph), according to Reuters. Despite this capability, the variety could not endure winds surpassing 100 mph, which presents potential risks during extreme weather events like the 2020 derecho storm that devastated the Corn Belt and resulted in $11 billion in damages, as per the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
Bayer's New Short Stature Corn Tested for Wind Resistance, Aims to Mitigate Weather Damage
The company highlighted that other varieties of short stature corn currently on the market can endure winds of up to 50 mph. Bob Reiter, Bayer's head of research and development for crop science, commented, "After 100 mph, nothing really stands," underlining the limitations in current crop engineering against the most severe weather conditions.

The trial for the conventionally bred Preceon corn involved 390 farmers across the US and Europe, covering around 35,000 acres in 2023. Bayer is planning to release a genetically modified version of this corn by 2027 and is also developing a gene-edited variant aimed at appealing to different global markets.

This innovation is part of Bayer's strategy to reduce yield losses in agriculture due to extreme weather, leveraging the corn's shorter stature to lessen wind impact. According to Nick Vita, a forecaster with Commodity Weather Group, "Very warm temperatures can not only help with the intensity but also the duration of these systems," indicating that the challenge of managing weather-related risks in agriculture will likely intensify as climate change progresses.
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