Increasing climate variability is as great a concern as increasing air temperatures forecast with climate change. The challenge for breeders is in identifying and selecting traits that are genetically correlated with environments into the future and/or difficult to manage away from their breeding nurseries. We report on studies targeting constitutively-expressed traits (e.g. increased rates of spike and grain-filling and increased coleoptile length) to establish their value proposition for increasing grain yield in future environments. The work supports the potential for higher rates of grain-filling and longer coleoptiles as traits where genetics are available now in pre-emptive selection in breeding programs. Further, there is not expected to be any cost associated with these traits in grain yield or quality, or in cooler, wetter seasons.