Could detasselling crews become a thing of the past? A new technology is headed in that direction.
Hybrid seed produces fertile, glyphosate-tolerant plant
The summers of many a teenager changed when Roundup Ready technology lessened the need to cut weeds from soybeans. Now it appears another longstanding rite may end if Monsanto Company finalizes a replacement for detasselling.
The Roundup Hybridization System (RHS) could greatly reduce detasselling in hybrid seed corn production with a goal of managing costs and improving efficiency.
Detasselling machines are used in many of today’s seed production systems, but manual detasselling is still necessary to clean up what machines miss.
Monsanto’s new system uses a biotech corn trait that exhibits high tolerance to glyphosate in all tissues except male plant reproductive tissues. "Carefully researched rates and application timing of glyphosate will selectively induce male plant sterility and greatly reduce the need for manual and mechanical detasselling," says John Miklos, Monsanto’s RHS development team lead.
"The hybrid seed generated from this technology results in a fully fertile and glyphosate-tolerant plant," he adds.
The new RHS system is different than earlier attempts to sidestep detasselling.
- Seed Guide 2011