New seed corn technology and the robust traits they bring are crucial to the success of farmers today, said National Corn Growers Association Research and Productivity Director Robyn Allscheid. And a key component to this progress is the public corn breeders working within the University system who train people to carry on this legacy in the future.
Allscheid, fresh from attending the North Central Coordinating Committee for Regional Corn Breeding Research’s Annual Corn Breeding Research Meeting in Chicago, Illinois noted companies involved in corn plant breeding depend on public corn breeders for training new students in fundamental principles of plant breeding and genetics.
“Small seed companies and producers indicate a need for developing publicly available varieties, especially for small markets that are not currently served by the large corporations in the private sector,” she said. “Funding agencies expect public corn breeders to carry out translational research to apply genome sequence and functional genomics information, so this is an important function.”
The meeting also promotes interaction between the corn breeding research community and seed companies, commodity groups, Multistate Research Committees, the maize genetics community and other stakeholders, she said.
Other key objectives include: Identifying new opportunities to carry out cooperative research with regional or national scope and coordinate existing cooperative corn breeding research projects; develop and make available corn breeding tools such as databases, software and methods and communicate research results to committee members and stakeholders.