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CRISPR is coming to Agriculture — with big implications for food, farmers, consumers and nature


Have you heard of CRISPR?

This article from 2016 claims it's the rising star in technology associated with plant and animal breeding. It doesn't seem to have the baggage usually linked with GMO's so we might have a beneficial scientific process to develop desired aspects in the crops we grow and animals we tend.

Why do I mention this on a cover crop forum? Because this may revolutionize cover cropping!

We have essentially been using "off the shelf" traits in our cover crop species selection and there hasn't really been much cover crop breeding to date. That being said, there are some projects that are working through the pipeline that will indeed ramp up better cover crop benefits but this CRISPR technology will only accelerate it!

I was at a national cover crop breeding meeting a few months ago and some of traits that CRISPR could fix are eliminating hard seed in hairy vetch, enhance drought tolerance, and increase winter hardiness. I would like to see a legume version of cereal rye.

What cover crop traits would you like CRISPR to address?

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