"USA Watches as Wheat Rust Makes a Damaging Comeback"

"A fungus under control for 50 years is back and ravaging wheat crops in Africa, the Middle East and Asia. Once it gets in a field, it corrodes the stalks, turning them shades of brown and red that gives the disease, wheat stem rust, its name. Farmers can do little but harvest what's left, sometimes losing 60% of their crop.

Plant breeders struggled with it in the 1960s, believing they had finally beaten it into submission with new wheat strains. But now, after 50 years of remission, it's roaring back, and it has U.S. agriculture officials on high alert for any sign of its return in this country."

Elizabeth Weise reports for USA TODAY March 2, 2011.

Thursday, March 3, 2011