Auto Trader Ltd
Farminguk
30 June 2016 | Online since 2003
Scrutton Bland


29 November 2012 10:10:41|

Wheat genome alone 'will not improve food security'


Governments and scientists should not rely on wheat genetics to improve food security according to GM Freeze.
The warning follows the announcement that scientists have taken another step toward sequencing the wheat genome.
Investments have been made by the BBRSC and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
Yet the UK investment in soil research amounts to 1.25% of the country's total annual R&D budget.
Similarly research into moving away from prairie style monocultures and developing more biodiverse and resilient methods of crop husbandry, as advocated by the International Assessment of Agricultural Knowledge, Science and Technology for Development, is not receiving the same level of public funding as GM and genomics.
Completing the sequencing of the wheat genome will allow traditional plant breeding to introduce beneficial traits much more quickly using marker assisted selection, provided that access for all to the technology and knowledge is not blocked by patents.
Existing wheat varieties are capable of very high yields already.
However soil conditions, weather and an army of pests and diseases means that yields are well below the optimum, even when large amounts of artificial fertilizers and pesticides are applied.
"I welcome this news" said Lincolnshire arable farmer Peter Lundgren.
"This moves us on from the sterile GM era where the only beneficiary was corporate profit towards an era where biotechnology in the hands of responsible scientists has the potential to deliver what I need as a farmer to produce safe food profitably and sustainably."
Pete Riley of GM Freeze said: "Traditional plant breeding using genomics and marker assisted selection has the potential to improve wheat yields faster and with fewer risks than GM, but only if prevailing environmental conditions are right."
"Very little effort is put into ensuring that crops are grown in optimum conditions. Soil management needs urgent attention, and farmers need scientific support to restore its health and ensure that the soil ecosystem is fully functioning to allow crops the best chance of performing well.
"The challenges farmers face from the weather and climate change are enormous, and it’s impossible for farmers to second guess what nature will throw at them next."
"We need to invest far more in developing agroecological methods to grow biodiverse crops designed to minimise dependence on fossil- fuel inputs like artificial fertilisers and pesticides."
"Many problems stem from poor farming practices and reliance on crop monocultures. We need to concentrate on developing multifunctional agroecosystems, which will be better able to cope with future challenges."

Download



0 Comment


Name

Please enter your name


Email

Comment

Please enter your comment


Post Comment

Your comment submitted successfully.Please wait for admin approval.


Comments

No comments posted yet. Be the first to post a comment


Ireland | 29 June 2016
Hogan backs new support package for dairy sector

Agriculture Commissioner Phil Hogan has given farm ministers assurances that he will bring in a second emergency scheme for dairy farmers by July. "Despite the extensive range of measures taken ove...


Ireland | 29 June 2016
Beef sector will bear brunt of Brexit impact

The uncertainty over the Brexit move has seen up to 10c/kg wiped off cattle prices at the factories - and over €100/hd ringside - with concerns raised over Ireland's €2bn meat exports to the UK. Ra...


Mexico | 29 June 2016
Beef industry celebrates 'symbolic' re-opening of Mexican market

Mexico will fully re-open its market to Canadian beef imports on Oct. 1, offering Canada's farmers valuable new customers for their mature cattle this fall. The resumption of full trade in beef was...


USA | 29 June 2016
Well cared-for livestock produce more milk and meat - US academic

United States academic Temple Grandin says good animal welfare results in better farming production. She talks about animal welfare with Jill Galloway. Professor Temple Grandin ​ believes that heif...


Netherlands | 29 June 2016
Farmers say June storms have devastated crops, farm buildings

Farmers in the south east of the Netherlands say June’s storms have caused up to €500m worth of damage to crops this year and are calling on the government to declare a national emergency. That wo...



Trending Now

Viewed
Discussed

Farms and Land for sale

PropertyLocation
PropertyAgent
PropertyMinimumPrice
PropertyMaximumPrice
PropertyCategory

Holiday Rentals search

AccommodationKeyword
AccommodationType
AccommodationCounty
AccommodationStarRating


Top stories you may have missed
closeicon
Username
Password