Every farmer knows that good seeds are the key to successful and bountiful harvests. In fact, many farmers will only buy their seeds from reputed seed banks and in turn, will provide their own seeds to others. Every year, the United States Department of Agriculture publishes a list of the best seed banks on the market. Here is a list of Top five seed banks on the internet.
- Pioneer Hi-Bred seed bank
The Pioneer Hi-Bred seed bank was started in the year 1987, by DuPont and has been a leading player in producing legumes, cereals and oilseeds. The US government had strictly prohibited the sale of seeds to foreigners outside the United States until after 1980. The Pioneer Hi – Breed seed bank partnered with Japan’s National Bio-chemicals Company to set up its first overseas offices. The company’s annual revenue is $1billion, with an additional $1.6 billion coming from allied companies worldwide.
By 2012, the company was expected to be the world’s leading producer of high quality grains, oilseeds and other grain crops. It currently has operations in 30 countries and employs over 10,000 people.
The Pioneer Hi-Bred Seed Company was initially formed to manufacture genetically engineered hybrids using traditional plant breeding methods. It was the first company to conduct field trials of genetically modified crops in America. The company’s first hybrid corn seed was sold in 1988, under the “Herculex” brand name.
- Svalof Weeds Research Center (SWARC)
Svalof Weeds Research Center (SWARC) is a weed seed bank that focuses primarily on collecting and storing weed seeds from all around the world, especially from developing countries in Africa. The center was first established in the Eastern Cape province of South Africa in 1955, by Dr. Salvatore Svalof and his wife, Lillian. The Svalofs also founded the Svalof Research Institute for Agricultural Development or SRIDA.
Svalof started his first seed bank in Italy in 1989, where he was working at a research institute of the International Plant Genetic Resources Institute (IPGRI). He used to go to various countries around the world and collect seeds from farmers, who had weeds that they wanted to get rid of. The seeds were then stored in Italy. In 1995, Dr. Svalof traveled to Kenya, where he expanded his seed bank. He also started implementing weed-free agricultural practices on the land.
- White Mountain Seed Bank (WMSB)
White Mountain Seed Bank is a listed company in the New York Stock Exchange and is headquartered in Salt Lake City, Utah. The company was founded by George W. Gould III and Chip Stiles, who both had backgrounds in agriculture and horticulture. In 2005, the White Mountains Group purchased SWARB from its parent organization, UTecht Holdings Inc., during its initial public offering (IPO). WMSB is actually a trading name for a garden seeds division of White Mountain Group that serves customers in three countries. The company began its operations during the 1980s, through the sale of no-spray seed, honey and pollination services to consumers. In the late 1980s, WMSB began growing vegetables for farmers in Utah. During the 1990s, it began offering its seeds to retailers via mail order and catalog orders.
- Amyris Biotechnologies (formerly Chugach Biotech)
Amyris BioTech is a publicly traded biotechnology company based in San Diego, California that develops bio-industrial products from naturally occurring amino acids found in sugar cane molasses. The company is listed on the NASDAQ OMX under the ticker symbol AMY.
Amyris BioTech was founded in 2004 by Nobel laureate Jean-Marie Lehn and Henk Rogers. In 2007, Amyris transferred all of its operations to its new facility in Oakland, California. The company is also building a new biorefinery in Monterey County, California and plans to use the plant to produce biofuels and bioplastics.
In 2014, Amyris Biotech was sold to Clorox for $8.25 billion, after completing a financing round with Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers.
- Delta & Pine Land Co. (D&PL)
Delta & Pine Land Company is an agricultural biotechnology corporation based in Mississippi, USA and was founded in 1989 by William Coleman Jr. D&PL is a leading breeder of cotton and owns the Bollgard family of technologies. It has worked as a licensee of Monsanto’s patents to develop “Roundup Ready” cotton seeds – to prevent the introduction of herbicide-tolerant weeds – and also developed several other cotton plants resistant to diseases, nematodes, or both, including the company’s most successful product: the first genetically engineered insect-resistant cotton that was approved by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).