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Modern farming practices—including the use of seed technologies and pesticides—lessened the impacts of the 2012 drought by allowing farmers to continue the trend of increased crop production. One article reports that “yields have increased from slightly more than 3 billion bushels in 1956, time of the last big drought and roughly the start of the bio-tech revolution, to more than 12 billion bushels in 2011.”
Planting more biotech crops is one tactic farmers are using to deal with uncertain growing conditions. A report from North Dakota State University predicted that drought-tolerant corn could improve yields by an average 15 percent under drought conditions.