New Waves October 2010

Breaking news about water resources research and education in Texas

Researcher develops water-efficient corn hybrids

Researcher develops water-efficient corn hybrids Dr. Wenwei Xu cannot pinpoint a gene that allows drought resistance or water efficiency in corn, but he is definitely drawing nearer to providing producers with corn exhibiting those traits.

"We will be running out of water at some point, so we need to find water-efficient or drought-tolerant corn hybrids, plus management technology to reduce the amount of water required to produce corn," Xu, a Texas AgriLife Research corn breeder from Lubbock, said during the recent Texas North Plains Corn Irrigation Research and Extension Field Day near Etter.

Xu has been conducting his breeding work since 1998 and has already released some inbred lines to commercial companies, which are using those lines in pre-commercial tests.

"We are developing new corn germplasm by using exotic materials special from tropical corn," he said. "We select corn for a lot of traits. We cannot select corn for drought tolerance or water efficiency based on a single trait. We have to select a lot of number of traits. "

This project is funded by the High Plains Underground Water Conservation District, Texas Corn Producers Board, Texas Department of Agriculture, and the Ogallala Aquifer program funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture – Agricultural Research Service.

Read the complete Ag News story.

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