New Technologies To Potentially Revolutionize Wheat Production
America’s amber waves of grain may get bigger and better thanks to new technology and increased planting of certified wheat seed.
(NAPSI)—America’s farmers are the most productive in the world, but new technological developments in wheat breeding have the potential to increase yields and improve grain quality.
In a departure from the centuries-old practice of saving and replanting wheat seed from year to year, farmers are increasingly planting certified seed, which is superior in terms of genetic purity, yield potential and resistance to certain diseases, insects and environmental stresses such as drought. Certified seed is purchased and planted every year, versus planting seed saved from a previous crop.
“When farmers purchase professionally grown, certified wheat seed each year, they have the opportunity to improve their risk management, increase marketing power and access the latest genetics and traits,” says Dr. Jeff Koscelny. “Additionally, a portion of the proceeds from their purchase is invested back into research and development, helping drive the introduction of new, better-performing wheat varieties to the market at a faster pace than in the past.”
“Using advanced breeding tools, we’re confident we will be able to greatly improve the yield potential of wheat,” adds Dr. Kristin Schneider. “In fact, we are already seeing dramatic efficiency and accuracy gains from the implementation of new equipment into our breeding programs and are confident that these and other new technologies have the real potential to revolutionize wheat production in the United States.”
Improvements in the breeding and testing of wheat varieties such as WestBred from Monsanto are just the beginning, the experts contend. They believe the future holds the promise of incorporating specific agronomic traits into wheat that will lead to improved tolerance to drought conditions, improved nitrogen efficiency and the ability to achieve higher yields.