Friday, August 1, 2008


"Help now appears to be on the way. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation this spring promised $27 million to Cornell University to run an international research effort to thwart stem rust: a fungus borne by the wind, on clothing or in cargo holds that creates sores on wheat stems that blacken and wipe out once-healthy plants. In Congress, pending spending bills would increase research. But the inability of the federal government to react quickly to a potential crisis — about 90% of all commercial wheat varieties are susceptible to the new strain of the disease — is a telling statement about the beleaguered state of federal crop science funding."

Black stem rust is expected to hit the Middle East very badly in the next few years and to decimate the crops. It may be brought into the US from Iraq by the army and other persons and personnel.

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