New Challenges


Maize breeding and genetics are changing. Advancements in biotechnology have resulted in Bt-corn, herbicide resistance and other benefits to the seed corn industry, and the potential for further development seems limitless. Drastic changes in kernel composition are on the horizon, along with new and unique forms of resistance to insects and disease.


Where will this lead? A senior vice president of DuPont Agricultural Enterprise referred to plant biotechnology as "the next Silicon Valley."1 A representative of the U.S. division of Novartis Seeds predicted that "in a few decades, probably 75% of the food we eat will come from genetically engineered crops." A top scientist at grain-processing giant Cargill, Inc. said that widespread use of such crops "will make the Industrial Revolution pale by comparison."

Companies such as Monsanto, DuPont, Novartis Seeds, Dow Chemical Co., Pioneer Hi-Bred International, Inc., DeKalb Genetics and other industry leaders are spending billions on emerging genetic technology-in order to realize even higher returns in the near future.

1 All quotations in this paragraph are from "Green Genes," an article by Scott Kilman in The Wall Street Journal, January 29, 1998.