America: For amber shades of (genetically modified, drought-resistant) grain.
St. Louis-based Monsanto announced this week
that it is teaming with German-based BASF to create a drought-resistant wheat.
The two biotech firms already partner together on similar seed strains for corn, soy, cotton and canola. The first of those products -- drought-resistant corn -- is scheduled to hit farms in 2012, pending regulatory approval.
Monsanto says the need for greater wheat supplies is likely to increase as developing countries such as China and India become more affluent and
increasingly add bread to their traditional rice-based diets.
The drought-resistant wheat will be first introduced on North American and Australian markets in 2020.
As their name implies, drought-resistant crops are able to thrive during periods of little rain. Monsanto says that in tests its drought-resistant corn increased yields of by roughly 7 to 10 bushels per acre.