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Deep Roots Hold the Secret to Drought-Resilient Crops

Droughts are growing in frequency and severity as global temperatures rise. For farmers, the impact on crop yields can be devastating, with knock-on consequences for feed and food supplies.

Today, farmers around the world look to Danish seed company DLF for a solution. Specialised in breeding seeds for temperate climate zones, DLF has a reputation for staying ahead. So, when climate change hit the global agenda, long-rooted plant varieties were already in the product portfolio.

A strategic investment in the world’s largest and most advanced root-screening facility – RadiMax – has helped accelerate the development of new climate-resilient plant varieties. Initiated by DLF in partnership with Danish universities and other breeders, the facility enables researchers to follow plant root growth under increasing drought stress.

New forage varieties have 30 percent deeper root biomass, higher drought tolerance and increased nitrogen uptake

Other climate benefits include a natural ability to bind carbon in the soil and minimise nitrogen leaching. The clover varieties among DLF’s solutions reduce the need for synthetic fertilisers due to nitrogen fixation from the air.

All varieties produce high-quality feed that is easy to digest and improves the milk yield of dairy cattle, for example.

Drought, flooding and disease are continuously changing factors in crop production. Through dedicated plant breeding, DLF’s breeders are on a mission to deliver solutions for sustainable land use with high yields.