Expanded technology investments in wheat were the focus of the “Wheat Don’t Pass Me By – Opportunities for Biotech Solutions for Wheat” at the 2010 BIO International Convention this week in Chicago, IL. Wheat farmer Mark Darrington joined a miller, baker and researcher on the panel discussion.
Darrington’s comments during the session centered on the economic decision of how to best utilize the land, water and capital resources each planting season. The competitiveness of wheat has weakened compared to other crops that offer a higher profit. The U.S. wheat grower’s approach to this competitiveness challenge has been to join with growers from Australia and Canada to encourage investment in technology; including but not limited to biotechnology, through the 2009 trilateral agreement so that this increased investment will increase profitability. The panel discussion was sponsored by Bayer CropScience.
Dana Peterson, NAWG CEO, attended the full convention which included a Food and Agriculture track as well as tracks for health and energy industry leaders. Food and Agriculture topics included a current look and outlook for next generation technologies, implications of asynchronous approval for international trade, study of world-wide public perception of technologies and legal and regulatory issues around biotechnology. Sideline meetings with industry leaders to discuss investments in wheat development provided additional insight to future opportunities for wheat growers.