Perennial corn is the flavour of the month
New grains that grow all year round transform food production
The launch of perennial wheat hybrids last year has been upstaged by another new crop – All Season Maize. Now corn farmers can stick to what they do best, all year round.
Best of all, the crops actually benefit the environment; being deeper rooted, they require less water, fertilizer and maintenance. And no ploughing means cheaper production and lower food prices.
The new grains have come to market in the nick of time; growing demand for wheat and maize in China has created a regional shortage, and even genetically enhanced varieties could not keep up. Now the season has been extended to a full year, production has more than doubled.
“This is the most important innovation in the history of Agriculture,” enthused ‘Corncob’ Jones, professor at Washington State University, “averting what could have become a global food crisis, as populations demand an increasingly westernized lifestyle. Tastes have changed.”
However, perennial corn will disrupt the status quo in food production, as economic issues dictate farming plans. Price fluctuations are bound to be extreme, until the market adjusts to the new farming paradigm.
Agri businesses will likely become even more specialized, as crop rotation will decrease and farmers in different areas will concentrate solely on their highest yielding hybrids. After all, you can always import rice from Asia, and sell them corn.
Agroecologists are less enthusiastic. Even though perennial grains are better for the environment, they fear this revolution could entrench the “unsustainable culture of Big Ag” farming methods.
Warning: Hazardous thinking at work
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