It may not be too far into the future when crop growers won’t have to fret so much about summer dry spells. Researchers at Monsanto are working to bring a drought-tolerance trait into commercially available domestic crops. They’ve begun with corn in the field-test stage. And, they will eventually introduce it into other crops.

“We imagine the technology’s utility will be in better yields in conditions like those in the Midwest — where every field is at least mildly drought stressed at some point in the season,” explains Sherri Brown, Monsanto Company vice president for technology, chemistry and animal agriculture. “Or, it has application for a crop grown under irrigation that will use less water.”

It’s too early to tell just how much water the technology will save.