Genetic engineering is a Good Thing?
harlind at epix.net
Sun Sep 20 15:30:05 EST 1998
Marty Sachs wrote:
> In article <6u2ldj$bqu$1 at news1.epix.net>, harlind at epix.net wrote:
> > Having been around when hybrids first came out and in visiting many Ag
> >meetings at the time and seen yield data comparing inbred lines vs. hybrids
> >there were a number of inbred lines that out yielded many of the hybrids. IMO
> >one of the reason that hybrids made the quantum leap with hybrids ( from the
> >seed company standpoint at least ) is with inbred lines the farmer buys
> one bag
> >of seed catches the seed and he's in the seed business or at least he doesn't
> >have to buy seed next year whereas with hybrids if he catches the seed
> >replants, he has maturity and other characteristics all over the place.
> >Admittedly where hybrids may offer a somewhat wider range of conditions where
> >they work.
> A minor correction here. Before hybrid corn, farmers grew open pollinated
> varieties (OPVs) or land races, not inbreds.
I screwed up on the terminology but there was an inbreeding process
to come up
with the OPV'S or at least that was my impression ( I'm not a corn
breeder ) but
there was some research in coming up with the lines but IMHO opinion not
much as put in to hybrids.
Nature limits what we can do, Science limits what we understand,
Theory what we can think, and Religion what we can hope Lindaberry
Harold Lindaberry reply E - mail harlind at epix.net
visit OXGORE website at http://www.epix.net/~harlind
RESEARCH GOES WHERE RESEARCH LEADS.
> These cultivars were highly
> polymorphic and maintained their vigor (and thus yield) by out-crossing.
> Inbreds, at that time, produced very weak plants with low yield. It is
> true that OPVs yielded as well or better than early hybrids. In fact,
> inbred parents for early hybrids were such poor producers that order to
> make hybrid corn production economically viable, double-cross hybrids were
> produced. Today's inbreds give better yield than early single-cross
> > Since the seed companies are in the seed business of selling seed, and
> >where their OX is tethered their decision was obvious. I'm not saying that
> >yields are not better because of hybrids because the seed companies can afford
> >to get bigger and do more research to develop better inline strains at the
> >breeding foundation stock level. There are many non hybrid crops where yields
> >have risen at an equivalent rate just due to better research and
> development at
> >the foundation breeding level. That's just my opinion !. How much is due to
> >true " hybrid vigor " and how much just to better research at initial
> >foundation stock level is IMO up for grabs. If you can only sell one bag of
> >seed per customer vs. many bags every year " how much breeding research
> can you >afford to do "?
> Yes, seed companies put their resources into developing better inbreds,
> which in turn produce better hybrids. However, IMHO, the revolutionary
> aspect with respect to farmers was that if they wanted to consistently
> produce the best and highest yielding corn crop, they were now forced to
> purchase seeds each and every year. This was not the case before hybrid
> corn was widely adapted.
> -Marty Sachs
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