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May 9, 2016

Agritech Update: Land lenders talk recent research on increasing crop performance with biotechnology

They say farmers grow more produce with far fewer inputs than they ever did before. Essentially, today’s farmers are growing and raising more with less, a feat that will likely need to be repeated if the world’s population is to be fed. A recent study found that farmers could increase crop performance with biotechnology. In simplest terms, researchers at Arizona State University’s School of Life Sciences and others believe they have discovered a way to enhance a plant’s tolerance to stress.

Published in the scientific journal Trends in Biotechnology and reported by Science Daily, lead author Roberto Gaxiola explained that the process included modifying the expression of a gene that moves molecules made by photosynthesis to the points in the plants where they are the most needed. The plants can then use the molecules to grow stronger roots, create more fruit, or generate more leaves. This in turn improves how the plants use water and soil nutrients, allowing farmers to use less water and fertilizer. An increase in plant biomass and yield naturally follows, and researchers have an eye on how the technology could improve crop sustainability in the face of drought, and adverse weather. An increase in world-wide food security is the most desirable result from this technology.

Growing and raising more with less is one strategy that the agriculture industry will use to feed the world’s growing population. Just like new biotechnologies, AgAmerica Lending is committed to helping the nation’s farmers and ranchers do more every day. As leaders in farm lending, we help the country’s agribusinesses grow and flourish with our low interest rates, long amortizations, and outstanding 10-year line of credit.

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