Reinventing Farming for a Changing ClimateTweet
Media Source: NPR
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
Temperatures are rising and drought is relevant in the United States, farming communities all across the plains, southwest, and anywhere else there are crops have seen water sources go dry and now must invent new ways to efficiently water crops. There aren't many ways around shortages of water, but farmers can choose to plant crops with shorter growing seasons, plant and only water during important phases in a plants life. Growing seasons are expected to lengthen as the winters in the United States become shorter and milder, this is great for farmers who seek to increase yield, but mild temperatures that allow for early blooming can very quickly change to frost and damage young plants. In a longer growing season there is also an increase in demand for water causing shortage. There are C3 and C4 plants, C3 are not as efficient in yield when compared to C4 plants when the same amount of water is used. Guest speaker Sally McKenzie studied plants that grew bigger and more efficiently when their chloroplasts were manipulated. Plants sense stress through their chloroplasts and can be genetically modified to lessen the amount of stress that plants detect. Promoter genes can allow plants to increase resistance to drought and make them more diverse in resisting stress.