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# Today s farmers plant only a handful of different strains of

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Manager
Joined: 10 Nov 2010
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Today s farmers plant only a handful of different strains of [#permalink]

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10 Mar 2011, 11:02
2
This post was
BOOKMARKED
00:00

Difficulty:

75% (hard)

Question Stats:

60% (01:39) correct 40% (01:53) wrong based on 321 sessions

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Today’s farmers plant only a handful of different
strains of a given crop. Crops lack the diversity that
they had only a few generations ago. Hence, a disease
that strikes only a few strains of crops, and that would
have had only minor impact on the food supply in the
past, would devastate it today.
Which one of the following, if true, would most
weaken the argument?
(A) In the past, crop diseases would often devastate
food supplies throughout entire regions.
(B) Affected crops can quickly be replaced from
seed banks that store many strains of those
crops.
(C) Some of the less popular seed strains that were
used in the past were more resistant to many
diseases than are the strains popular today.
(D) Humans today have more variety in their diets
than in the past, but still rely heavily on cereal
crops like rice and wheat.
(E) Today’s crops are much less vulnerable to
damage from insects or encroachment by
weeds than were crops of a few generations
ago.
[Reveal] Spoiler: OA

Kudos [?]: 336 [0], given: 6

Director
Status: Impossible is not a fact. It's an opinion. It's a dare. Impossible is nothing.
Affiliations: University of Chicago Booth School of Business
Joined: 03 Feb 2011
Posts: 871

Kudos [?]: 401 [0], given: 123

Re: Today’s farmers plant only a handful [#permalink]

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10 Mar 2011, 11:27
1
This post was
BOOKMARKED
Conclusion : A disease that strikes just a few strains will devastate the food supply.
Evidence : Farmers plant few strains

If the affected crops can be replaced then the effect of the destruction can be annulled. This is exactly B.

vjsharma25 wrote:
Today’s farmers plant only a handful of different
strains of a given crop. Crops lack the diversity that
they had only a few generations ago. Hence, a disease
that strikes only a few strains of crops, and that would
have had only minor impact on the food supply in the
past, would devastate it today.
Which one of the following, if true, would most
weaken the argument?
(A) In the past, crop diseases would often devastate
food supplies throughout entire regions.
(B) Affected crops can quickly be replaced from
seed banks that store many strains of those
crops.
(C) Some of the less popular seed strains that were
used in the past were more resistant to many
diseases than are the strains popular today.
(D) Humans today have more variety in their diets
than in the past, but still rely heavily on cereal
crops like rice and wheat.
(E) Today’s crops are much less vulnerable to
damage from insects or encroachment by
weeds than were crops of a few generations
ago.

Kudos [?]: 401 [0], given: 123

Manager
Joined: 10 Nov 2010
Posts: 157

Kudos [?]: 336 [0], given: 6

Re: Today’s farmers plant only a handful [#permalink]

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10 Mar 2011, 11:45
Why not (E) ?
Can't we relate insects to the disease?

Kudos [?]: 336 [0], given: 6

Senior Manager
Joined: 18 Oct 2010
Posts: 409

Kudos [?]: 70 [0], given: 115

Re: Today’s farmers plant only a handful [#permalink]

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10 Mar 2011, 11:47
vjsharma25 wrote:
Why not (E) ?
Can't we relate insects to the disease?

Exactly. We cannot assume that insects=disease. Hence, E is ruled out.

Kudos [?]: 70 [0], given: 115

Current Student
Joined: 06 Sep 2013
Posts: 1970

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Concentration: Finance
Re: Today’s farmers plant only a handful [#permalink]

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03 Jan 2014, 11:21
heygirl wrote:
vjsharma25 wrote:
Why not (E) ?
Can't we relate insects to the disease?

Exactly. We cannot assume that insects=disease. Hence, E is ruled out.

Oh I see very clever.

Cheers!

J

Kudos [?]: 745 [0], given: 355

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Location: India
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WE: Engineering (Energy and Utilities)
Re: Today s farmers plant only a handful of different strains of [#permalink]

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03 Jan 2014, 18:05
Why not A?
If I can prove that in the past also food supplies were devastated due to diseases, so we cant blame today's farming styles completely?

Regards,
DJ

Kudos [?]: 18 [0], given: 34

Director
Joined: 17 Dec 2012
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Kudos [?]: 535 [1], given: 16

Location: India
Re: Today s farmers plant only a handful of different strains of [#permalink]

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03 Jan 2014, 22:56
1
KUDOS
Expert's post
vjsharma25 wrote:
Today’s farmers plant only a handful of different
strains of a given crop. Crops lack the diversity that
they had only a few generations ago. Hence, a disease
that strikes only a few strains of crops, and that would
have had only minor impact on the food supply in the
past, would devastate it today.
Which one of the following, if true, would most
weaken the argument?
(A) In the past, crop diseases would often devastate
food supplies throughout entire regions.
(B) Affected crops can quickly be replaced from
seed banks that store many strains of those
crops.
(C) Some of the less popular seed strains that were
used in the past were more resistant to many
diseases than are the strains popular today.
(D) Humans today have more variety in their diets
than in the past, but still rely heavily on cereal
crops like rice and wheat.
(E) Today’s crops are much less vulnerable to
damage from insects or encroachment by
weeds than were crops of a few generations
ago.

Negate the conclusion

It is: The disease that strikes the few strains of crops would not devastate the food supply

Since this is a weaken question look for the choice that offers an explanation for the above.

Choice B offers the reason why the food supply would not be devastated. None of the others do.
_________________

Srinivasan Vaidyaraman
Sravna
http://www.sravnatestprep.com/regularcourse.php

Standardized Approaches

Kudos [?]: 535 [1], given: 16

Joined: 27 Dec 2012
Posts: 36

Kudos [?]: 18 [0], given: 34

Location: India
Concentration: Technology, Entrepreneurship
GMAT 1: 660 Q48 V33
GMAT 2: 730 Q49 V40
WE: Engineering (Energy and Utilities)
Re: Today s farmers plant only a handful of different strains of [#permalink]

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05 Jan 2014, 05:36
SravnaTestPrep wrote:
vjsharma25 wrote:
Today’s farmers plant only a handful of different
strains of a given crop. Crops lack the diversity that
they had only a few generations ago. Hence, a disease
that strikes only a few strains of crops, and that would
have had only minor impact on the food supply in the
past, would devastate it today.
Which one of the following, if true, would most
weaken the argument?
(A) In the past, crop diseases would often devastate
food supplies throughout entire regions.
(B) Affected crops can quickly be replaced from
seed banks that store many strains of those
crops.
(C) Some of the less popular seed strains that were
used in the past were more resistant to many
diseases than are the strains popular today.
(D) Humans today have more variety in their diets
than in the past, but still rely heavily on cereal
crops like rice and wheat.
(E) Today’s crops are much less vulnerable to
damage from insects or encroachment by
weeds than were crops of a few generations
ago.

Negate the conclusion

It is: The disease that strikes the few strains of crops would not devastate the food supply

Since this is a weaken question look for the choice that offers an explanation for the above.

Choice B offers the reason why the food supply would not be devastated. None of the others do.

But how can B negate? Just asking. Once a set of crops get disease, how would new seeds will help the crops? We will have to plant the seeds again to get a disease free produce.

My thinking is that devastation is blamed entirely on lack of diversity in today's ways of agriculture.
So negation of this can be: If devastation has occured in the past as well due to diseases.

Regards,
DJ

Kudos [?]: 18 [0], given: 34

Director
Joined: 17 Dec 2012
Posts: 623

Kudos [?]: 535 [0], given: 16

Location: India
Re: Today s farmers plant only a handful of different strains of [#permalink]

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05 Jan 2014, 05:56
akashganga wrote:
SravnaTestPrep wrote:
vjsharma25 wrote:
Today’s farmers plant only a handful of different
strains of a given crop. Crops lack the diversity that
they had only a few generations ago. Hence, a disease
that strikes only a few strains of crops, and that would
have had only minor impact on the food supply in the
past, would devastate it today.
Which one of the following, if true, would most
weaken the argument?
(A) In the past, crop diseases would often devastate
food supplies throughout entire regions.
(B) Affected crops can quickly be replaced from
seed banks that store many strains of those
crops.
(C) Some of the less popular seed strains that were
used in the past were more resistant to many
diseases than are the strains popular today.
(D) Humans today have more variety in their diets
than in the past, but still rely heavily on cereal
crops like rice and wheat.
(E) Today’s crops are much less vulnerable to
damage from insects or encroachment by
weeds than were crops of a few generations
ago.

Negate the conclusion

It is: The disease that strikes the few strains of crops would not devastate the food supply

Since this is a weaken question look for the choice that offers an explanation for the above.

Choice B offers the reason why the food supply would not be devastated. None of the others do.

But how can B negate? Just asking. Once a set of crops get disease, how would new seeds will help the crops? We will have to plant the seeds again to get a disease free produce.

My thinking is that devastation is blamed entirely on lack of diversity in today's ways of agriculture.
So negation of this can be: If devastation has occured in the past as well due to diseases.

Regards,
DJ

Hi DJ,

What my method does is to negate the conclusion and see which choice offers the best explanation for the negated conclusion in the case of a weaken question. The negated conclusion is that, the food supply would not be devastated. Choice B offers the reason why the food supply would not be devastated. Choice A does not offer the reason for the negated conclusion.
_________________

Srinivasan Vaidyaraman
Sravna
http://www.sravnatestprep.com/regularcourse.php

Standardized Approaches

Kudos [?]: 535 [0], given: 16

Manager
Joined: 20 Dec 2013
Posts: 130

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Re: Today s farmers plant only a handful of different strains of [#permalink]

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05 Jan 2014, 07:08
1
KUDOS
PREMISES: farmers plant only some strains ... so diversity is less
CONC: diseases (strike only few strains) will be more devastating today

Option A: talking about the past /irrelevant
Option B: talking about a solution
Option C: Comparing the past less popular strains and present popular strains /irrelevant
Option D: talks about diets / irrelevant
Option E: talking about insects or weeds not diseases /irrelevant

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Re: Today s farmers plant only a handful of different strains of [#permalink]

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27 Sep 2015, 20:53
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Re: Today s farmers plant only a handful of different strains of [#permalink]

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10 Nov 2017, 08:58
There's a reason why this isn't a GMATPrep question: it's weak as a weaken question.

The actual answer (B) Affected crops can quickly be replaced from
seed banks that store many strains of those crops.

This is a very weak weakener. Replace is a very vague word here and usually when we replace something...we assume that we replace the broken item with a similar item. This works on light bulbs but NOT on genetic modification. If a disease is mutated to affect the few genetic strains of crops today, we NEED brand NEW strands of a different genetic characteristic. Replacing the same strands actually does NOT help.

Because all the other answers are even more out of bounds..this is the correct answer.

If you got this wrong, don't worry about it too much. :D
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Re: Today s farmers plant only a handful of different strains of   [#permalink] 10 Nov 2017, 08:58
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