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Plant Breeding, Genetics, & Genomics

The National Plant Breeding Study

The security of U.S. agriculture is dependent on continual access to robust, high-quality crop varieties for a wide range of farming systems. Such varieties are made possible through investments in plant breeding. Plant breeding efforts provide new opportunities to develop additional markets, increase crop yields, reduce disease pressures, and adjust to changing growing environments.  The first comprehensive accounting of national plant breeding research investment was the 1994 National Plant Breeding Study by Iowa State University.

Between 1994 and 2001, there were rapid changes in the technology and structure of U.S. plant breeding. These changes impacted plant breeding research investment. In an effort to compare and update the information in the 1994 study, a follow-up study was done to describe U.S. plant breeding investment in 2001. The study covered all public and private organizations in the United States conducting plant breeding or variety development in 2001. The study was conducted from 2002 to 2004 by Auburn University and was funded by NIFA and the Economic Research Service.

For ease of comparison , tables and table numbers in the 2005 report of the 2001 data correspond to tables in the 1994 study. The 2001 and 1994 data are public domain and may be used for research, as long as the source is cited.

For additional information or for Microsoft Excel files of the 2001 data, contact Greg Traxler, Senior Program Officer, Agricultural Development Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Office: (206) 770-1684  Cell: (334) 524-1233


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