Limited New Corn Traits in This Decade
Corn hybrids definitely will continue to be improved with conventional breeding and biotechnology to provide insect resistance, disease tolerance, herbicide tolerance and to contend with abiotic stress. This is all being combined with high-yielding germplasm to increase yield potential. There are few completely new breeding or biotechnology improvements that parent companies for seed research are confident will be in the marketplace within five years. But read what the major crop protection companies that own corn seed companies and finance trait discovery research are doing to introduce improved corn hybrids between now and 2025.
Syngenta has basically taken the past five years to apply germplasm available from the Golden Harvest, Garst and NK brands to develop hybrids with the best of each into the hybrid off ers that will be sold by Golden Harvest and NK in the future.
“As we look toward 2015, we are incorporating the Enogen trait into our portfolio of hybrids to make sure that we can offer solutions to the farmers who are growing corn for ethanol and adding value for the ethanol production plant,” said Pat Steiner, Syngenta, head of corn portfolio, North America. Enogen hybrids deliver alpha amylase enzyme in the corn kernel and help provide additional ethanol production from a bushel of corn and are currently on the market in a limited number of hybrids.
Hybrids with Agrisure Artesian water optimization technology have been on the market with hybrid availability in the Western Corn Belt, but there will be a number of these native-trait hybrids for growers in the Eastern Corn Belt beginning in 2014.
“We will have a genetically modified water optimization trait coming out around 2020. This is a GM abiotic stress offer that might be used alone or in combination with the original Agrisure Artesian for added benefit,” said Steiner.
Syngenta launched its refuge-in-a-bag insect-control products in 2013, again these are GM traited seed, and many more hybrids will be refuge-in-a-bag in coming years. Added to the on-the-market traits will be the new Agrisure Duracade brand corn rootworm trait that should be launched for the 2014 crop season.
“We will only off er Agrisure Duracade in combination with other rootworm traits as we want to manage the resistance potential aspect right from the get go,” Steiner said.
“We talk about a system of breeding, biotech and advanced agronomy,” said Hobart Beeghly, Monsanto, global corn technology lead. “It is less thinking about any one trait or any one technology; it is more about the convergence of systems and progressively adding yield potential and protection, kind of like layers.”