What are Crop Protection Traits?

Crop Protection Traits make crops healthier and better able to withstand their environment. They enable farmers to have higher yields and reduce the use of the Crop Protection chemicals, fertilizers, fuel and manpower.

Cibus Crop Protection Traits

The objective of breeding programs is to develop genetic traits that provide characteristics in a plant that are desired by the grower or the consumer of the plant. In general, the desired characteristics fall into three categories:

  1. Output traits that are associated with the characteristics of the harvested product such as high-oleic acid soybeans;
  2. Input traits that are associated with the health of the plant and helping farmers manage the quality, yield, and cost of a crop; and
  3. Agronomic Traits that are associated with physical or physiological characteristics of plants.

Crop Protection Traits include both Input Traits and Agronomic Traits.

Crop Protection Traits are important because they directly impact the yield and the cost associated with producing a crop. There are numerous examples of important (and large) Crop Protection Traits that have had transformational effects on farming practice. An example would be Bt corn that eliminated the need to apply a pesticide to control European corn borer. Another example would be Roundup resistant crops that allow producers to spray Roundup for weed control without damaging crop plants. In both cases, the trait materially improved yields and materially lowered or eliminated the use and cost of crop protection chemicals such as herbicides and insecticides and materially lowered the fuel/manpower used in crop protection.

This is the importance of Crop Protection Traits. They enable farmers to lower the use of crop protection chemicals and the fuel/manpower used to deliver them with Crop Protection Traits.

Crop Protection Traits are one of the pillars of a “Seed and Trait Business”. Trait Products are the output of the massive breeding programs by the “Seed and Trait Companies”. These breeding programs divide their activities into two groups:

  1. Input and agronomic traits;
  2. Output traits.

Output traits are directed towards improving the characteristics of the harvested product. Input and agronomic traits are directed towards improving the yield and the cost of the process of producing the specific products. These traits generally focus on making a specific plant be better able to withstand the environment in which they are grown. Input and agronomic traits are what we refer to as Crop Protection Traits.

Crop Protection Traits are non-chemical solutions that make farming more efficient, profitable, and sustainable. In essence, Crop Protection Traits let farmers do more for less while enabling equivalent or higher yields.