Plant Breeding - Part One
The yield increases of recent decades have been more due to genetic improvements than agronomic improvements. Seed consultant Dr. Marcel Bruins said researchers have looked at this dynamic over time.
Bruins… “One example is a UK study. They looked at all the cereals for the past, I think 80 or a hundred years. And there they saw that roughly until the mid eighties, the impact of agronomy improvements was about 50%, and the impact of genetic changes was also 50% contributing to the yield increase.”
Bruins said after the mid 80s that balance changed to be much more reliant on genetic improvement.
Bruins… “You cannot, for example, continue to add fertilizer because at a certain point it becomes toxic. Too much crop protection products also doesn't make sense because it also would become toxic. So in developed countries, you indeed reach an optimum approach towards agronomy. And then the only way you can increase yield, which we absolutely need to do, is through genetic improvement. So the impact and the importance of plant breeding is only increasing year after year after year.”
Tune in tomorrow for more information on the latest in the field of plant breeding and its impact on the Farm of the Future.