Biotech titan Monsanto has made significant advances in the development of herbicide-tolerant wheat, the company announced recently, and could have the first-of-its-kind crop ready for farming in just a few years’ time.
Genetically-modified wheat isn’t legally approved anywhere in the world, but the billion-dollar St. Louis, Missouri-based agriculture company has for years been determined to develop the first GMO variety of the cash crop. Now Monsanto’s chief technology officer thinks the company is on the right track with regards to research.
Monsanto’s GMO wheat-in-progress is among 29 endeavors being undertaken by the group to have made “phase advancements” recently, company reps said in a conference call last week, and testing has advanced from the “proof of concept” stage to early development.
Monsanto-made wheat, like other GMO crops created by the company, would be resistant to their weed killer Roundup and thus join the likes of other “Roundup Ready” products already sold by the company, including bioengineered soybean and corn.
“From an overall market perspective, the grain industry and the wheat industry — specifically the wheat trade industry — has remained very interested and supportive of biotech advances,” Monsanto CTO Robb Fraley said during last week’s call, according to Baking Business reporter Eric Schroeder.
“A wheat farmer generally is also a corn and soybean farmer, and they understand the benefits of the technology, and the wheat industry has watched the benefits that this technology has brought to both corn and soybeans. And so we continue to make advances,” added Schroeder.