Plant Breeding Benefits Your Farm
Over the last 30 years there has been a 50% increase in the productivity of major agricultural crops. Experienced plant breeders have made great scientific strides to improve the crops you grow. Innovation in plant breeding delivers higher yielding varieties with better agronomic traits, such as disease resistance and stress tolerance, to beneﬁt your farm and bottom line.
Consider how plant breeding has touched your farm:
- Plant breeding brought wheat to the West in 1906 with the variety Marquis paving the way for even more improved varieties.
- Higher yields with hybrid corn and many vegetable crops. Over the past 60 years, the efforts of North American corn breeders have been rewarded by a 400% increase in corn yields.
- New cropping options with canola. Canola didn’t exist prior to 1974; it now contributes between $1.5 and $2 billion to Canada’s agricultural economy.
- Improved time management and on-farm erosion control with herbicide tolerant crops.
- New high-value markets in Japan with specialty soybeans.
- Global competitiveness through better yields and high quality.
- Today, plant breeders are working on even more problems that can increase your net farm income:
- Fusarium head blight control for wheat growers.
- Canola seeds with increased vigour could reduce crop establishment risk.
- Drought resistance is being developed in canola, corn and soybeans.
- Increased markets with specialty crops to supply industrial products like hydraulic oils, bio-diesel, and plastics – create biodegradable products from renewable resources.
- Value-added opportunities for crops with increased nutritional content or healthier qualities.
To learn more, watch this YouTube video Smart from the Start produced by the International Seed Federation describing the work needed and steps taken by plant breeders to develop a new plant variety and the time and resources that are needed in the process.
Watch the YouTube video The Canadian Seed Industry has a Plan to learn how the Canadian seed industry plans to feed a growing population with limited land, water and other resources through innovation and increased investments in plant breeding.