SEGMENT: GENETICS

Dr. Edward Runge>LPL Interviews N-Z>LPL Interviews K-Z, Segment 6

SEGMENT: GENETICS,

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GENETICS
Moved to TX A & M, where they have one of the largest agronomy departments. As head, he administered for nineteen years. Tells about Norman Bourlag, Nobel winner in 1970 for green revolution in wheat. Worked in Mexico in the 1950s. In the 1960s we were shipping as much wheat to India and Pakistan as we could. Borlog hired by the Rockefeller Foundation in 1944 to work in Mexico for sixty years. He developed adapted spring wheat varieties. Paul Ehrlich predicted famine in India. Borlog's wheats went there in 1965 and by 1970 India and Pakistan were self sustaining. Have to use fertilizer. Had to establish floor prices so farmers could take risks. India produces four times the wheat on only ten per cent more land. Henry Beechel involved in rice project for Philippines, China, other countries. He worked at TX A&M, Beaumont, TX; went to IRRI (International Rice Research Institute) in 1963 in Los Banos, Philippines. Released IR-8 released in 1966; met him in 1968; he went to Indonesia in 1972, returned in 1980. Rice work in TX, with hybrids for Rice Tech. Died at age one hundred in 2007. They make the hybrid by crossing two parents and breed from there. It becomes a fixed variety. Takes lot of time; Borlog got two crops a year to speed it up in Mexico. Collaborative process. Borlog is a salesman, too. Has over 50 honorary doctorates. Runge, on orders from TX A&M, brought Borlog to campus yearly for the prestige. Biographies out on Borlog. Atlantic Monthly credited him with saving more lives than anyone else who ever lived. But there was an army of people involved.