Climate Change Puts Global Seed Vault At Risk

Melting permafrost in Norway has put the Svalbard Global Seed Vault at risk due to recent flooding at that facility.

“This is a facility that was built to stand the test of time and resist manmade and natural disasters,” according to Martin Settle, executive director of USC Canada. “It is a relief to hear that none of the seeds in the collection were harmed, but these events are far from reassuring. Climate change has already broken through the vault’s defenses, and these are the early days of permafrost melt. In the long term, how safe are the seeds?”

The seed vault is located in in the world’s northernmost city of Longyearbyen, some 800 miles north of the Arctic Circle. It has the capacity to hold up to 4.5 million seed types (around 1 million currently inhabit the facility). The facility depends on tightly controlled conditions to protect its valuable contents.

Seed savers around the world help hedge against any risk of catastrophic loss, according to Settle.

“There is no replacement for keeping seeds in the hands of farmers,” he says. “We know the impacts of climate change are going to be unpredictable. Even the world’s best engineering may not be sufficient to protect humanity’s most precious heritage – our food crops.”


Latest News

Two Major Grain Companies Announce They Will Stop Doing Business in Russia

Within two days at the end of March, two grain companies said they will cease operations in Russia.

6 Spring Ammonia Season Reminders

The next couple of weeks will be busy with ammonia application in Illinois. Here are a few reminders to keep in mind when working with ammonia

9 Steps to a Perfect Corn Stand

More ears at harvest is the key to higher yield. That requires starting with a picket-fence stand with photocopied plants, achieved by adjusting your planter as conditions change from field to field and within fields. 

FieldAlytics Engage: Farmer-Facing App Clears The Communication Pathway

“This is a powerful app designed to strengthen service providers’ relationships with growers by housing essential information in a single source,” says Ernie Chappell, president of Ever.Ag Agribusiness.

Plagued By Drought and High Input Prices, Cotton Acres Could Crumble This Year

Just ahead of USDA's Prospective Plantings report, the largest cotton growing state in the U.S. is seeing another year of drought, and with fields resembling the Dust Bowl, crop prospects are dwindling by the day.

Farmers Really Want to Plant Corn Not Soybeans, Says FBN Chief Economist 

Kevin McNew says the company's survey of 2,000-plus growers shows they will plant 92.5 million acres of corn and 84.5 million acres of soybeans. Both estimates are counter to what USDA projected in February.