Bayer rolls out short corn variety tolerant of weather extremes
Global farm chemicals and seeds maker Bayer will launch a corn variety in the United States next year that it says will better tolerate heavy winds associated with climate change, estimating future sales in North America as high as 1 billion euros. The corn, which grows one-third shorter than current varieties, will be planted by 150 U.S. farmers in a commercial trial in 2023, then released to the broader market the following year, the company said at a media presentation on Thursday. Short-stature corn is the latest crop variety bred to withstand increasingly volatile weather associated with climate change, joining a growing list that includes drought and heat tolerant corn and soybeans.
Bayer said initial plantings will be from traditionally bred seeds. Biotech traits and gene edited varieties will be rolled out in 2027 or later in North America and other geographies including Latin America, Asia and possibly Europe, with global sales expected to peak in the 2030s. The new variety also has the potential to capture and sequester more carbon in agricultural soils, which could generate additional income via environmental credits for growers participating in carbon farming programs. “It’s going to be a contributor to better nutrient access, better water access and the potential for more carbon sequestration,” Reiter told Reuters in an interview.