Plant Science Post

4 Ways IP Helps Farmers

April 9, 2015
Investment & Innovation

Heartier crops, better protection from pests, more sustainable farming practices – these are just a few innovations enabling farmers to grow more food on less land than ever before, and intellectual property (IP) laws are helping make it all possible. Check out these four revolutionary farm technologies and the role IP played in their development.

IP_protects_our_crops_full Protects Their Crops
For thousands of years, farmers have been inventing new ways to protect their crops from a seemingly endless variety of weeds, insects and diseases. Modern crop protection products have given farmers the best tools they’ve ever had to keep pests from damaging their crops. They use targeted methods that ensure farmers can control specific pests efficiently and effectively, which helps ensure a healthy and abundant harvest.
preserving_our_soil_full Preserves Their Soil
Farmers used to till their land to control weeds. However, this would also expose rich, moisture-filled topsoil to the air, causing the soil to dry out and become extremely susceptible to soil erosion. In the 1990s, innovators accomplished an amazing feat – they invented herbicide tolerant crops that allowed them to control their weeds without tillage. Farmers can now plant their crop in an un-tilled field and preserve the valuable topsoil that plants need to thrive.
strengthening_the_worlds_oldest_full Maximizes Their Maize
Farmers have cultivated maize for nearly 10,000 years; scholars believe it’s the first domesticated crop ever grown. Recently, IP has played a key role in developing new varieties of maize that have helped boost global production from just 205 million tons in 1960 to over 850 million today. Innovators are now developing varieties that can withstand the new challenges of climate change – intense droughts and invasive pests.
ip_for_better_soy_full Strengthens Their Soybeans
People in countries around the world are eating more and more soybeans and soy products. It’s a valuable food – rich in protein, calcium and iron. To keep up with the growing demand, farmers need varieties of soybeans that can stand up to the constant threat of weeds and diseases. Innovators have taken up this challenge and are producing varieties that offer new forms of pest control and can adapt to all types of climates.