From the Farm: Soybean seed research

Agriculture

ELWIN, Ill. (WCIA) — Along with farmers, seed companies are planting their research plots.

One of those fields is being managed by Craig Grafton, a technical research specialist for Bayer out of the Stonington plant. He’s got a lot of research soybeans planted Wednesday morning.

WCIA: What sort of traits are you testing here today?

“This is a breeding field, so we’ve got Roundup 2, Roundup 2 with Xtend, and Roundup 2 Xtendflex in this field, all of those traits right here,” Grafton says. “About every variety is about 15 feet across that planter. There are 2 row plots. That’s pretty standard for us. But every 15 feet it will switch varieties. It’s a basic planter that you would see a normal farmer would have, but we’ve taken it and specialized it from the row unit on up and that’s how we deliver the seed to the planter, so that’s where the automation comes in and allows us to plant a lot of plots in a hurry.”

WCIA: Those plots are just small tubes of seeds that are in those cassettes.

“Every cassette you see there, its got different seed varieties in it,” Grafton says. “So that’s how we separate them out, versus having to clean out a planter, it does it on its own.”

WCIA: Harvest it later this fall and find out how that trait did? Whether or not to save that particular one.

“That’s exactly right,” he says, “90% of this field will get thrown away, and we’ll keep the best. So that’s how we get it in the ground.”

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