Farming Success in a Changing World

Take a minute to imagine yourself outside on a hot, humid Nebraska summer day. It is probably a matter of minutes before you start sweating through your t-shirt. Luckily for humans, we can go inside and drink an ice-cold glass of water to escape the heat. The day turns to evening and the heat of the day is behind you. It’s the perfect temperature to gather around the bonfire with your friends. Not 10 minutes into your evening you notice tons of mosquitoes won’t leave you alone! Fortunately, your good friend brought some bug spray to protect you!

Just as humans face the elements outside, plants do too. Unlike you and I, plants can’t escape inside or apply a coat of bug spray. There are some agronomic practices like irrigating and applying pesticides, but what about times when this isn’t a possibility? Biotic stressors such as insect pests can become resistant to current methods for control. The planet’s climate change causes increased abiotic stresses such as heat. That’s where the role of plant breeding comes in.