New MU Drought Simulator Yeilding New Results

8 years 3 months 4 weeks ago Tuesday, October 18 2011 Oct 18, 2011 Tuesday, October 18, 2011 10:42:00 AM CDT October 18, 2011 in News
By: Kate Grumke

COLUMBIA - A dry summer was even drier on portions of the University of Missouri's Bradford Research and Extension Center with the help of two greenhouse-like structures. The movable structures were used as automated drought simulators.

These simulators cost MU more than $1.5 million and this week researchers begin harvesting the plants that were part of the inaugural study. The rain has to clear up before harvesting starts.

More than 60 different types of soybean genotypes were used in the study that hopes to find which ones have better traits for drought tolerance. The simulators vary the amount of water the plants receive to imitate everything from dry spells to severe droughts. Brad Young, a graduate researcher who is working on the study, said it will help them find out which types of soybeans yield the most during a drought. He said this information will be useful to breeders and will eventually help farmers in Missouri still grow crops they can harvest even after drought conditions.

The research is part of the Division of Plant Sciences which is part of the College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources.

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