MSU Ok Reddy working to deal with the challenges of farming of the long run

Contact: Meg Henderson

Raja Reddy working with rice plants at a research station
Raja Reddy works with rice crops on the MAFES soil-plant-atmosphere-research facility. (Picture by Megan Bean)

STARKVILLE, Miss.—Mississippi state agricultural science professors right now are inspecting crops that anticipate tomorrow’s agricultural wants.

Raja Reddy, a analysis professor in MSU’s Division of Plant and Soil Sciences, has devoted his profession to the dual challenges of feeding a quickly rising world inhabitants and the stresses of local weather change on agriculture.

“As we speak’s international inhabitants is about 7.78 billion and it’s anticipated to extend to about 10 billion by 2050,” Reddy stated. “As we speak, the typical annual charge of enhance in meals manufacturing is 1.2 %, however over the subsequent 35 years, this progress ought to enhance to a mean of two.4 % to satisfy the wants of the extra inhabitants. The problem is to have the ability to enhance meals manufacturing on a sure landmass. has been.”

Reddy’s analysis on the College of Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station has proven that environmental inputs that assist crops develop, resembling ultraviolet mild, temperature, and carbon dioxide, turn into stressors for crops when these inputs are unbalanced. go. As local weather change upsets an already fragile environmental stability and can proceed to speed up within the coming years, Reddy is taking a look at methods to adapt crop manufacturing to these modifications.

Reddy stated one technique to scale back the influence of local weather on plant progress is to govern the plant’s atmosphere. The MAFES soil-plant-atmosphere-research facility, which has operated since 1977, permits Reddy to exactly management the rising circumstances of his crops.

Kale and mustard plants that have tolerated many stresses.
Kale and mustard crops which have tolerated many stresses. (picture submitted)

,We are able to make a local weather based mostly on projections for the 12 months 2050 or 2100 and research the impact on crops,” Reddy stated.

A current research by the professor and his colleagues on kale and mustard greens on the SPAR facility additionally discovered that by manipulating temperature, water, nutrient and CO2 concentrations at exact ranges, crops reply by producing enhanced phytochemical and antioxidant properties. , which give elevated well being advantages. shopper.

This analysis has implications for industrial seed manufacturing, together with region-specific and “climate-ready” seeds, giving growers higher choices than they at present have.

“When you perceive the atmosphere in an space, you possibly can sow the seeds for optimum progress each right now and for the long run,” he stated.

Basil in spar unit cells under various stresses.
Basil in spar unit cells beneath numerous stresses. (photographs submitted)

Reddy advocates a multi-pronged method to deal with the agricultural challenges of the long run. “There is no such thing as a silver bullet that may meet the local weather challenges of the long run and the rising demand for meals,” he stated. “It takes 5-15 years to develop a brand new plant selection, so we have to discover small positive factors that come from quite a lot of sources.”

For extra details about the SPAR unit, go to For extra details about the Division of Plant and Soil Sciences on the MSU Faculty of Agriculture and Life Sciences, go to

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