Ancient Syrian grass rescued from Aleppo is resistant to pests devastating American farms
"From 2000 to 2015, average temperatures in the US midwest rose from 1 to 2 degrees fahrenheit above the 20th-century average. Periods of time between rainfalls are lengthening, according to a 2016 assessment by the Environmental Protection Agency. In other words, conditions in some areas of the midwest are starting to resemble conditions in the Middle East.
"Rising temperatures are already leading to drops in midwestern crop yields, and threaten further reductions of as much as 4% per year. In the heart of US cereal and grain country, new pests and diseases are following the hot and dry conditions northward – and frequently overwhelming the ability of agricultural chemicals to battle them off. In response, scientists are seeking sources of natural resistance – and finding them in Syria, in the heart of the Fertile Crescent, the birthplace of domesticated agriculture."