An Uncertain Future
Matt Heaton, John Innes Centre
An Ethiopian farmer weeds his young wheat crop and checks for signs of rust while his son watches. Ethiopia is the largest wheat producer in sub-Saharan Africa and many rely on the harvest it yields. With changing climates however, fungal rusts that damage the crop are becoming more prevalent. Unless tighter detection and control strategies are developed, the future of cereal farmers is growing in uncertainty. The Saunders group at the John Innes Centre are developing new methods to track rust outbreaks more quickly so control methods can be coordinated to protect local farmers crops.