Thursday, March 26, 2009
Researchers at the International Center for Maize and Wheat Improvement near Mexico City have developed new kinds of corn they say could help feed 50 million more people each year. The corn was designed to grow in soil containing a lot of acid.It will also grow in areas of the world where there is not much rain. The new corn plants will be helpful in the hot wet areas of the world. More than 43 percent of the soil in typical areas is acid. Farmers in that part of the world raise about 180 million acres of corn each year. The new kinds of corn will greatly increase the harvest from the acid soils in Latin America, Asia and Central Africa. The new corn will also help farmers in the areas of the world that do not get much rain. The new kinds of corn will increase the crop production in dry areas by as much as 30 percent. Farmers planting the new corn where growing conditions are excellent will produce a 10-percent larger crop. Farmers may have the new corn seed within three years. The researchers say the new plants produce so much more corn that less forest land will have to be cleared for farming. And, the corn can help feed 50 million more people a year in some of the poorest parts of the world.