To fully appreciate a masterpiece is to look behind it to acknowledge the time, dedication and challenges that ultimately make a work of art so exquisite. The same goes for seeds. While most people think about what seeds produce, it is not as common to consider what goes into making them.
Developing the right seed solutions is far from a simple science. Just as tastes and sensibilities change in the arts, we constantly evolve and improve our De Ruiter seeds to satisfy the changing demands of consumers, growers, and even the environment. Our breeders must navigate countless potential genetic outcomes—not to mention rigorous quality and safety checks—in order to develop plants that perform well in spite of the challenges they may face.
Because we are passionate about our work, we’re excited to share a glimpse into our plant breeding process. Follow the journey of a single tomato seed, all the way from its original concept to the final tomato plant ready for cultivation.
Cultivating for constant change
Opportunities to improve seed varieties are ever-evolving. That’s why we work to breed seeds that growers can rely on to satisfy new needs and demands, from season to season.
Collaboration is key
In order to develop effective solutions, we need to understand the challenges and opportunities for different markets and growing environments. To do so, we collaborate with growers, retailers, agronomists and others to gather the insights and ideas that form the criteria of a seed’s success.
Taking chance out of our equation
Although the possible hybrid plant combinations are endless, data analytics and Artificial Intelligence empower our breeders to more efficiently cut through the clutter and identify the most promising candidates for further testing and study. This saves us time, energy and resources to allow us to test a broader base of development varieties, while dramatically improving our ability to create the desired outcomes.
At the tail end of our extensive trial period, we pass each hybrid candidate through a series of final verification checks for efficacy, performance and registration.
Once our seeds are ready for the world, we set things in motion to begin coordinating production and distribution around the globe—all while anticipating when and where they’ll be needed to ensure a stable supply.
We go above and beyond the industry standard to ensure our products continue to satisfy our stringent quality and performance standards. In addition to conducting continual lab tests, we also process seeds to prepare them for distribution and to prime them for heightened performance during cultivation.
A positive feedback loop
After ensuring a grower receives his or her seed, a new cycle begins. We work directly with growers to continually gather input and ideas about our seed performance, so we can constantly work on the next seed solutions to harness new opportunities well into the future.
This article has been adapted from an immersive, augmented reality experience available at the De Ruiter Experience Center, Bleiswijk, Netherlands. If you are interested in visiting and experiencing the Journey of a Seed for yourself and learning about the work our breeders to do please contact your local account manager to schedule a visit.