Agricomseeds, a South American company, has created the first natural trait in corn specifically for yield increases, and it’s ready to plant early in the 2017 season.
The new trait, named LeadGrain, is a multiple-gene trait designed to aggregate more than double the ovules at the cob matrix, causing an ear expansion and accommodating more kernel rows and kernels in each plant.
Agricomseeds has spent 12 years developing LeadGrain, a non-GMO trait, which is different from the highly regulated transgenic herbicide or insect-resistance traits. LeadGrain increases corn yields in the farmer's field. Agricomseeds has obtained 35% to 50 % more yield using LeadGrain.
LeadGrain also makes it possible to plant low populations under high-temperature stress; plantings as low as 24,000 plants per acre (60.000 plants per hectare) are successful. This is a different approach for increasing yield compared with the usual standard of high corn plant population practices that require 23% more density of 30,000 plants per acre (74.000 plants per hectare), which makes the corn more sensitive to heat stress.
Heat is an increasing problem. National Geographic, writing on “The Future of the Foods,” said, "Corn yields could fall 15% to 30% — unless new varieties or agronomic techniques can offset the trend." LeadGrain brings this new agronomic technique to farmers.
"The future corn yield will depend on the global high temperatures, and it's most likely outcome: drought. Our R&D has and will continue to focus on heat and drought," says Jean Carlo Landivar, Agricomseeds' CEO.
Agricomseeds is a genetics research and development company focused on creating new polygenic traits to adapt plants to hot environments and transforming agriculture to successfully face current and future challenges.
Agricomseeds has two subsidiaries: Tropigene in San Pablo, Brazil, and Agricomseeds in Santa Cruz, Bolivia. Agricomseeds licenses corn traits and exports seeds to several countries.