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Home Grown

Home Grown: Trial and error seed breeding programs

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CBS 13's April Hettinger digs into the complex process

YUMA, Ariz. (KYMA, KECY) - For this week's Home Grown, we dive into the trial and error of mass producing adequate seeds for growers, and how Yuma is at the center of it for many agriculture companies.

Keithly-Williams Seeds is a Yuma-based company that works with seed suppliers to provide seeds to growers.

They mainly distribute vegetable seed like onions, broccoli, cauliflower and lettuce to the western United States and other crops like tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers to Mexico.

John Purcell, product development lead with Keithly-Williams Seeds says the seed suppliers have breeding programs where farmers work on specific traits for crops.

"These breeders come up with a concept, and it could be a concept such as disease resistance," Purcell explained. "So, they want to incorporate a higher disease resistance, for example in spinach or in lettuce."

Once performance is up to expectations, they increase the quantity.

Purcell says the trial and error is a crucial step in perfecting the seed against the elements of mother nature.

Local News / News / Yuma County
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April Hettinger

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