Monday Hill Briefing Will Highlight Ug99 Threats, Research Needs

January 22, 2010 Bookmark and Share

National Wheat Improvement Committee Chairman Dr. Jim Peterson will discuss the risks associated with Ug99 at the National C-FAR’s first Capitol Hill “lunch-n-learn” seminar of 2010, set for next Monday, Jan. 25.

Peterson’s presentation will begin at noon in 1302 Longworth House Office Building, with lunch from Chick-fil-A provided.

While staffers enjoy their lunch, they will hear about the vulnerability of world wheat crops to the emergent stem rust, which was first identified in Uganda in 1999 and has since spread as far as Iran. Ug99 has defeated major resistance genes bred into wheats around the world, and stands at the doorstep of wheat-growing areas in central and west Asia, including India and Pakistan, which account for nearly 20 percent of world production. It is estimated that 75 percent of U.S. wheat varieties are also subject to the disease.

National C-FAR, known formally as the National Coalition for Food and Agricultural Research, is a coalition of organizations dedicated to raising the status and funding of agriculture research. The group sponsors regular Hill seminars to educate staff about often-complex food and agricultural issues that can be tackled with research given proper support, with the hope of prompting an informed and complete discussion on agricultural research funding.

For those who are not able to attend, presentations are posted following the seminars at http://www.ncfar.org/Hill_Seminar_Series.asp.

More information about National C-FAR and the Capitol Hill seminar series can be found at http://www.ncfar.org.

More information about Ug99 is available on NAWG’s Web site at www.wheatworld.org/research.