LINN COUNTY, Kan. - This summer has been devastating for corn growers, but future droughts may not hurt as badly for them.
Linn County, Kan., farmer Brad Stainbrook is among the first in the country to plant a new, drought-resistant seed. His fields need all the help they can get.
"Normal years, we should be in the minimum of 100-150 bushel corn," Stainbrook said. "We're seeing twenties and thirties this year. Forties is a real good time."
Receiving less than half the amount of needed rain this summer, Stainbrook picked a good year to try out a drought-resistant seed.
He planted 60 acres of Pioneer "AQUAmax" corn in his fields. Nationwide, the corn makes up for 2.5 million acres.
Stainbrook said it seems to be working. He said AQUAmax corn is outperforming traditional corn by seven to 10 percent, which Pioneer said is the national average.
"Seven percent on your farm doesn't sound like much, especially this year," Stainbrook said. "But over the course of every farm every year, that makes a big difference in the total production."
Pioneer said it hopes drought-resistant seeds will become the industry standard. Two other seed companies are developing their own brands.
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