• Viva La Vida: A wheat success story

    By JIM GRANSBERY

    The hamlets of Vida, Montana, and Reeder, North Dakota, are isolated rural communities.

    Vida, population 206, sits a few miles south of Wolf Point in northeastern Montana. Reeder, in the southwestern corner of North Dakota along U.S. Highway 12, is home for 162. This is dryland-farming country, where crops must tolerate weather and climate to survive or die.
    The villages are located in this nation’s two largest spring wheat-producing states – think baked goodies such as bagels, scones, cinnamon rolls, home-baked bread. Yet the towns’ existence is not widely known.

    Now, because of a desired trait in the wheat varieties named after them, Vida and Reeder may well become famous among plant scientists searching for foundational genes to combat looming higher temperatures in July – the critical growth period for spring wheat on the Great Northern Plains.

    To find out more about “stay green” wheat, find this issue on newsstands. To read more Montana all year, subscribe now.

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