Goehring sees potential in corn breeding project

BISMARCK – Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring says a major research effort to develop corn hybrids for the northern U.S. and southern Canada should result in new opportunities and options for North Dakota farmers.  

“Monsanto is now rolling out its Canada Corn Expansion Project,” Goehring said. “The company plans to spend $100 million over the next 10 years to develop new varieties of earlier maturing corn hybrids more suited to our climate.”

The project includes a sustained breeding effort, involving extensive field testing, agronomic training for farmers and others within the agriculture industry; marketing and agronomic support.

Goehring said Monsanto's target area for the project is mostly in southern Canada, but includes several U.S. states, including the northern two-thirds of North Dakota.

“The company has already established a corn breeding station near Fargo and another in Manitoba, just north of the North Dakota line,” he said. “I expect they will soon be contacting farmers to participate in technology development trials.”

Goehring said the availability of hardier, earlier-ripening hybrids should provide farmers with more options in determining their crop rotation.

North Dakota corn production has increased in recent years: the state now ranks eighth in the U.S.