Seed developers seek input from industry

03/22/2012 12:24:00 PM
Melissa Shipman

Increased communication helps seed companies balance the needs of its customers, both from the grower and retailer perspective.

“With the consumer demand for quality produce on a 12-month cycle, seed companies need to provide varieties that can be grown under diverse growing conditions in different regions, all delivering high yields of quality vegetables,” Zaglin said.

When the system works correctly, both growers and consumers have their needs met with successful new produce options.

However, grower needs often come first during the seed development process.

“If the grower can’t grow it, there won’t be any product for the end market,” Nance said. “But there’s always an eye on the end result of having a tastier product with a longer shelf life.”

“Our breeders first focus on meeting the agronomic needs of growers. We want to make sure our customers can produce the produce in an efficient manner,” Catlett said.

Once they’ve done that, they turn their attention to how to provide better output traits for consumers.

The two needs often coincide, though, because better grower input traits result in better output traits.

“If we introduce a new variety to growers that has benefits for them, we help them position that product to their customers so they can see the consumer benefits as well,” Catlett said.


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