Seed Company Leaders Provide Insights on What's in the Pipeline
To date, the buzz about biotechnology within the sugarbeet sector has focused largely on Roundup Ready® sugarbeets. First grown commercially in 2007 in north central Wyoming, Roundup Ready beet acreage skyrocketed the following year. For the past four years, Roundup Ready varieties have been planted on around 95% of total U.S. (and Canadian) sugarbeet acreage as growers have embraced the benefits for their individual farming operations.
A Profile of the Fargo, N.D.-Based USDA-ARS Sugarbeet Research Team
Unlike sugarbeet growers, who harvest the fruits of their labors every year, those who conduct basic research on this crop may not witness the commercial payoff from their work for a decade, two decades — or even longer. While we all need a certain amount of patience and persistence in our jobs, no one relies on such traits more than public scientists like Larry Campbell, Karen Fugate and Melvin Bolton.
A layman's look at the basics behind variety development
Photo by Mitch McGrath
Left: Beet seedlings in ‘conetainers’ await vernalization for rapid-cycle seed production.
Mitch McGrath is research geneticist with the USDA-ARS Sugarbeet & Bean Research Unit, Michigan State University, East Lansing. This article is based on one appearing in the 2009 Research Trial Results booklet published by Michigan Sugarbeet REACH (Research & Education Advisory Council).