Farmers across the Midwest are gearing up to receive corn for planting in drought-stricken regions, the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced Tuesday.
The corn approval comes as farmers and ranchers across the U,S.
face a drought-wracked region in North Dakota that has seen record snowfall in recent months and a prolonged drought that has pushed some farmers to stop planting.
In the Great Plains region, where the corn is being grown, drought conditions have worsened over the past month, and farmers are seeing the effects of the prolonged drought in their corn crop yields, according to the USDA.
The agency said it has approved two varieties of GM corn that can help farmers deal with the drought conditions.
The first, the Xtend Genesecia, has been approved for use in Iowa to provide water-intensive farmers with a drought resistant alternative to corn varieties that can be more costly to grow, according a release from the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service.
The other, the Genesexia, will be approved for sale in Nebraska to help farmers with the costs of replanting corn during the drought.
Both corn varieties are approved for planting on Iowa’s Corn Belt, which stretches from Iowa to Kansas and south to Nebraska.
It’s the third time that the USDA has approved a corn crop that’s drought-resistant.
Farmers can expect corn to be sold in corn state and grain markets throughout the Great Lakes region as farmers grow the corn to harvest it.
Farmers in Michigan and Wisconsin have already begun planting corn.
The drought-proof corn comes at a critical time for the corn industry.
Last week, the Department of Commerce said that it would reduce the corn ethanol content in corn corn for domestic and international markets by 20 percent, making it more expensive to feed the world’s growing population.
Corn futures on the ICE Futures Exchange dropped 1.5 percent in afternoon trading Tuesday.
Agriculture Secretary Dan Wyant said earlier this month that farmers were “extremely encouraged” that the corn approved by the USDA is drought-resistant.
He also said the agency has given the green light for farmers to begin planting in North Dakotas drought-prone regions.
Department in 2015 approved two corn varieties, Xtendo Genesccia and GeneseX, that can make corn drought-tolerant, allowing farmers to harvest the crop at higher yields.
The corn was approved in the Great Basin and Midwest regions of the U and D.