Research budgets cut amid food crisis, wheat worry
By JIM DRINKARD
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Dr. Yue Jin, a kind-faced man in a blue lab coat, is the nation's bulwark against a devastating new plant disease. He's the only federal scientist whose main mission is protecting the $17 billion U.S. wheat crop from annihilation.
His budget's being cut — in part because money has been drained off by Congress' pet projects.
Jin and other plant scientists have watched in alarm as mutant spores carried by the wind have spread a new strain of fungus from Africa across the Red Sea to infect wheat fields in Yemen and Iran, following a path predicted to lead to the rich wheat-growing areas of South Asia. Read More
It is critical that this country continues to fund research in food production. Being able to feed ourselves is vital to our national security. Technology continues to allow us to produce more with less and we must continue down that path.