Henry Beachell

#164,370
Most Influential Person

American plant breeder

Why Is Henry Beachell Influential?

According to Wikipedia, Henry Monroe "Hank" Beachell was an American plant breeder. His research led to the development of hybrid rice cultivars that saved millions of people around the world from starvation. Born in Waverly, Nebraska, Beachell and his family moved to a corn and wheat farm in western Nebraska. In 1930 he earned a bachelor's degegree in agronomy from the University of Nebraska–Lincoln, where he was a member of the FarmHouse fraternity. After obtaining a Master's degree at Kansas State University, Beachell worked for the U.S. Department of Agriculture in Texas. There, he created nine rice varieties, which eventually accounted for more than 90 percent of the U.S. long-grain rice production. He went to International Rice Research Institute in 1963 after his retirement from the DOA. He created a high-yielding rice variety IR8 in 1964, based on the previous work by Peter Jennings . IR8 was officially released by IRRI in 1966. It dramatically increased the yields of Asian rice from 1 or 2 ton per hectare to 4 or 5 tons per hectare. It played a significant part in the Green Revolution.

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