Last week the Seed Breeding Panel and I spoke for about an hour about our talk at Indoor Ag-Con 2019. Our goal is for this session to be educational. To give indoor agriculture operators the chance to learn about the seed industry and how to leverage their seed systems.
We are going to focus on a few key topics.
First, why does the seed industry exist? Why doesn't everyone save their own seed? Does the formal seed industry offer advantages to growers over farm saved seed
Second, how do seed companies collaborate, while still maintaining their intellectual property? Genetics are valuable and protected, but knowledge is more communal. There are knowledge sharing partnerships and joint projects. How do these partnerships form and why? How does Germains work with seed companies?
Third, How do plant breeders work? How are seed treatments tested? Breeders traditionally work in the environment that the plants will ultimately be grown in. This process is how we get new varieties that better meet the grower's needs. With many vertical farms, the breeders are not included in the trialing process and therefore have limited information about what worked and why.
Fourth, are there ways to bring new varieties to market faster? Seed companies have 1,000s of varieties that are not currently available commercially. How can vertical growers get access to these varieties?
Fifth, what does the seed industry need to better service the vertical farming and indoor agriculture space? We constantly hear that seed companies need better feedback and clearer communication with growers. They don't get feedback when the material is screened or tested on a farm. Breeders are not made aware of the growing conditions and what worked/didn't work. Often times the seed company's only feedback is if there is a repeat sale or not. Improving this communication will improving the seed screening process.
Do you have other questions?
Please bring your questions to the session, there's a great group of experts waiting to answer them!