Reinventing Farming For A Changing ClimateTweet
Media Source: National Public Radio
Program Name: Science Friday
Show Name: Reinventing Farming For A Changing Climate
Broadcast Year: 2013
Original Link: http://www.sciencefriday.com/segment/05/24/2013/reinventing-farming-for-a-changing-climate.html
David Nielsen, David Wolfe, and Sally Mackenzie join Flora Lichtman to discuss the research and strategies of Agriculture to adapt to climate change. Drying aquifers, increased drought, and less water available for irrigation means that farmers need to combat the new challenges posed by anthropogenic climate and landscape change. Nielsen and Wolfe describe no-till methods, which shade the soil, trap winter snow, slow decomposition, and increase the ability of the soil to retain water. Growing crops with a shorter growing season and irrigating only at crucial developmental times will also help farmers deal with changing rainfall patterns. Mackenzie described her advances in epigenetics and its application to crop breeding. Epigenetics deals with manipulating the methylation patterns of the DNA, changing the expression of certain genes. Mackenzie mimics the changes in the in the epigenome caused by abiotic stresses like drought and changes in temperature to invoke a stress response. The process leaves the actual DNA unaltered, however genetically identical members of a clone with a different epigenome may produce significantly different yields. This is huge; it means that the changes that usually take 10-15 generation to produce could be had in just three or four.