Bayer CropScience is one of the seed industry newcomers to Puerto Rico. In 2001, the company began working on cotton genetics. Since then, the company has added soybeans and rice and plans to add corn in the future. Right now, two leased farms are used for planting the plots and fields. Bayer plans to improve its facilities and move to new offices next year as it increases its presence on the island.
The soybean seed work under way involves the elite lines of soybeans from Hornbeck Seeds, which Bayer purchased a year ago. These lines are being incorporated with Bayer’s own soybean traits. The new varieties will enter the market in a few years.
Soybeans are grown year-round here with up to three generations a year. But soybean plots require lighting, according to Victor Torres, manager of soybean global introgression. The lighting will delay flowering of soybeans, which starts soon after emergence in the country. So Torres says the lights are turned on 24 hrs./day for one month to promote plant growth and delay flowering.
Photos: Karen McMahon
This is the 5th piece in our "Week in Puerto Rico" series. Check back for more videos, photo galleries and stories in the series at www.farmindustrynews.com.
Piece 1: Video: Soybean, seed nursery business thrives in Puerto Rico
Piece 3: Photo gallery: Major rice company uses Puerto Rico for seed research, nursery
Piece 5: Gallery: Bayer CropScience expands seed research, nursery in Puerto Rico
Piece 6: Story: Move over Hawaii – Puerto Rico takes over U.S. winter seed work