High quality seed production starts with great genetics and developing great genetics for highly productive varieties starts with our research and breeding team. These dedicated scientists spend years developing hybrids that are isolated, produced within our greenhouses, produced for proprietary trials and then finally entered into Official Variety Trials (OVT) for approval to market to North American sugarbeet growers. The process isn’t for the faint of heart: it requires 8-10 years to develop and market a single hybrid that is commercially available to sugarbeet growers.
Seed production is classified into two distinct areas: pre-commercial and commercial activities. Pre-commercial seed is produced by our pre-commercial team on a smaller scale so that growing conditions and climate may be closely monitored during seed cultivation. Seed fields are mapped on a grid, as geographic separation is required to eliminate cross-pollination that can have a negative impact on plant characteristics. When pre-commercial seed is harvested, it is evaluated for purity, quality, and DNA to confirm that it carries all the desired traits for commercial seed production. Once the pre-commercial seed meets all of the quality requirements it is prepared for commercial production.
Commercial seed production is carried out by contracted seed growers that meet strict seed quality parameters and guidelines. Some of these seed growers have been producing seed for Betaseed for up to 35 years! Growing seed requires specific, dedicated equipment to produce a high-quality product. Becoming a seed producer for Betaseed requires a long-term commitment to success. All of Betaseed’s seed growers closely monitor their fields for performance during the growing season and harvest with guidance by the Betaseed seed production team.