The Time Bomb That Can Wipe Out The World's Wheat Crop

It's not bad enough that soon we'll run out of bluefin tuna, now scientists are saying that we may also lose wheat. The stem rust fungus could wipe out 80% of the world's wheat as it spread from Africa.

Enjoy your bread while it lasts! Karen Kaplan of the Los Angeles Times has the story of a "time bomb" for wheat:

Crop scientists fear the Ug99 fungus could wipe out more than 80% of worldwide wheat crops as it spreads from eastern Africa. It has already jumped the Red Sea and traveled as far as Iran. Experts say it is poised to enter the breadbasket of northern India and Pakistan, and the wind will inevitably carry it to Russia, China and even North America -- if it doesn't hitch a ride with people first.

"It's a time bomb," said Jim Peterson, a professor of wheat breeding and genetics at Oregon State University in Corvallis. "It moves in the air, it can move in clothing on an airplane. We know it's going to be here. It's a matter of how long it's going to take."

Though most Americans have never heard of it, Ug99 -- a type of fungus called stem rust because it produces reddish-brown flakes on plant stalks -- is the No. 1 threat to the world's most widely grown crop.

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This is really scary. This fungus could cause enormous starvation worldwide. The US HAS to come up with something that works against this thing, or our farmers will lose billions.
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@Reechard

Actually, while skidworth's post was obviously exaggerated, wheat stem rust was being developed for use as a biological weapon by the United States in a program during the 1960's, so it may have been a comment in reference to that.
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@Reechard

There are plenty of other grains still available, it's just that humans have stupidly made themselves dependant on a single crop. There's still millet, and it's also better for you then wheat so now there’s lots of time to change if people actually bother to and now more a reason to grow it as an alternative.
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I know this is a family friendly blog but fuck. Fuck. I really hope this is not as bad as people predict it to be.

and skidworth. How's that tin foil hat treating you?
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