Plant Breeding and Genetics–CAST’s New Ag Innovation Paper and Slideshow Presentation Now Available

March 29, 2017

Note: Click here for a video of the presentation slideshow. Links for both versions of this paper: Plant Breeding and Genetics, and Plant Breeding and Genetics (QC)

Plant Breeding, Genetics, and Innovation

On March 22, the Council for Agricultural Science and Technology released an issue paper titled Plant Breeding and GeneticsA paper in the series on The Need for Agricultural Innovation to Sustainably Feed the World by 2050. Dr. P. Stephen Baenziger and Dr. Rita Mumm, cochairs for the team of authors, presented the highlights and key findings of this paper at three venues in Washington, D.C., on March 22.

Dr. Baenziger is a professor in the Department of Agronomy and Horticulture at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and Dr. Mumm is a professor emerita in the Department of Crop Sciences at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. They explained the key points of the paper at a  Senate staff gathering and a House staff luncheon (both organized by NC-FAR), as well as an afternoon science policy gathering sponsored by the ASA, CSSA, and SSSA.

The authors examined the improvements that can be made in plant breeding through technological innovations and stressed that the current rate of improvement is “insufficient to create the future that humanity wants, needs, and deserves.” CAST Issue Paper 57 is available as a free download from this CAST website.

The entire press release is available here. As the authors stated, “According to most agriculturalists, investing in plant breeding is ‘growing our future.’ This paper provides factual information for the public and policymakers alike as the world faces an increased need for secure food. Game-changing crop technologies are an important part of the continued transformation to make agriculture a major contributor to ecosystem integrity while feeding the world.”

Note: In top right frame of the collage (right to left): Dr. P. Stephen Baenziger, Dr. Rita Mumm, and CAST EVP Kent Schescke.

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