The National Corn Growers Association mourns the loss this weekend of Norman Borlaug, whose agricultural research helped boost crop yields and is credited with saving one billion people from starvation. Most recently, he was a professor at Texas A&M University and founder of the World Food Prize, while continuing his work as a vocal advocate and brilliant researcher committed to improving the world.

“Dr. Borlaug was a visionary who saw the great potential of agriculture to grow and feed the world while not consuming a proportionately larger amount of land,” said NCGA President Bob Dickey. “His focus on production per acre and his strong support of technology as part of agronomy has done more to feed the hungry than any other single person. His voice may be silenced but his work will go on.”

Writing as recently as July 31 in The Wall Street Journal, Borlaug defended modern agricultural against current critics.

“Of history, one thing is certain: Civilization as we know it could not have evolved, nor can it survive, without an adequate food supply,” he wrote. “Likewise, the civilization that our children, grandchildren and future generations come to know will not evolve without accelerating the pace of investment and innovation in agriculture production.”

In an article about Borlaug’s death, the science editor of The London Times, Mark Henderson, stressed the importance of boosting yields to help prevent deforestation and other significant land use changes. This will be, he asserted, the next “Green Revolution.”

“I hope that as we celebrate Borlaug's achievements, we can also learn from his perceptive approach to the future of agriculture,” Henderson wrote. “We will need to improve yields if we are to feed a growing population without destroying the little wilderness we have left. GM crops will not be the only method of achieving this, but they are a powerful one that we cannot afford to abandon.”

“While Borlaug’s work was focused mainly on wheat, corn growers have benefited greatly from his philosophy and the subsequent significant research in seed technology,” NCGA’s Dickey said. “Like Norman, we hope to see the Green Revolution expand across crops and across continents to help feed a growing population.”