Can GMO crops help Australian farmers cope with climate change?

| | August 24, 2017
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This article or excerpt is included in the GLP’s daily curated selection of ideologically diverse news, opinion and analysis of biotechnology innovation.

Queensland farmers could use genetically-modified plants to tackle the threat of climate change.

Environment Minister Steven Miles said farmers would be among the hardest hit by a changing climate, as the government released two new plans to help the agriculture and built environment and infrastructure sectors to cope.

Miles said some crops may grow better in different areas due to climate change, but scientists would need to work on new hybrids and species that could tolerate different levels of heat and rainfall.

The agriculture plan warns of increased heat stress in workers and animals, a drier climate with more intense rainfall leading to higher reliance on irrigation, an increase in cyclones and bushfires.

Some aquaculture species such as tiger prawns may have higher growth rates with a higher temperature, but it would also cause fruit loss, lower yield and reduced water use efficiency in cotton crops, while some regions would become unsuitable for certain crops, such as tomatoes in the Lockyer Valley.

Southern Queensland was also likely to experience longer periods of drought at the end of the century if current emissions levels persisted.

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion and analysis. Read full, original post: Genetically-modified crops included in Queensland climate change plans

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