Leading Global Plant Scientists Press for More Resilient and Resource-Efficient Crop Systems to Combat Climate Change


For more information, please contact: Josh Stull at +1-703-‪828-5219 or jstull@supportagresearch.org

WASHINGTON, DC (October 28, 2020) – The Supporters of Agricultural Research (SoAR) Foundation released Developing Global Priorities for Plant Research: Adapting Agriculture to Climate Variability, today. With support from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) and in collaboration with Virginia Tech, this report is the outcome of an international workshop with notable plant scientists who developed and prioritized global plant research directions, strategies for cooperation and collaboration, and potential funders for the coming decade.

The panel of global plant scientists concluded that strategies for developing crops for increased yield and yield stability under stress from external factors, including climate change, will need to include advanced knowledge of plant genetic diversity, climate variability and environmental impacts. These knowledge goals have been grouped into five overlapping research focus areas that serve as platforms for future research: Genetic Diversity; Adapting Agriculture to a Changing Climate; Soil; Nutrient and Water Use Efficiencies; and Pests and Pathogens.

“As climate change stresses crops worldwide, we need to look at this from a systems approach and develop adapted crops for circular economies to foster sustainability that provides efficient yield and yields stability,” says Ed Buckler, research geneticist at USDA’s Agricultural Research Service and adjunct professor of plant breeding and genetics at Cornell University.

In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, this workshop was held virtually with twelve leading scientists from the United States, Europe and China. The participants work with diverse crop species in the areas of crop phenotyping, plant engineering and breeding, plant-microbe interactions, biotic and abiotic plant stresses, photosynthetic efficiency and crop management.

Click here to read the full report.

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