Monsanto announced in July their opening of a GMO Wheat Technology Center. In Idaho, Monsanto has established the company’s core U.S. wheat breeding facility, adding to its list another GMO product.
“The Wheat Technology Center gathers some of the nation’s top wheat researchers to maximize sharing and collaboration,” said Kristin Schneider, Monsanto’s global wheat breeding lead. “From a breeding perspective, this will help us respond more quickly and efficiently to some of the challenges wheat growers face on their farms.”
The wheat program Monsanto intends to implement will breed and commercialize varieties of major wheat classes, with a massive network of seed suppliers already in place. Schneider sung Monsanto’s praises by stating a case for increased genetic gain within the market for wheat varieties. Monsanto’s licensed WestBred Wheat brand in the west will see additions of more licensing to seed companies in the east.
The Wheat Technology Center will include a facility for trial preparation and seed storage, as well as two greenhouse facilities occupying 14,000 square feet of growing space and enhanced laboratory space, making it the company’s second largest in the state.
Dr. Robb Fraley, Monsanto’s executive vice president and chief technology officer, said collaboration throughout the industry will be essential to propel new technologies in wheat production.
“Monsanto is committed to bringing innovations to wheat farmers, and we strive to do this in a way that helps farmers have better harvests while continuing to use resources like water, nutrients and land more efficiently,” Fraley said. “There are great opportunities that come with driving innovation in wheat, and the opening of the Wheat Technology Center is an example of our continued commitment to the industry.”
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