Plant Breeding Benefits

Tomatoes and farmers

There has never been a more important time to understand how advanced plant breeding innovation can help agriculture address the challenges facing the global food system.


We are committed to delivering the most impactful and sustainable solutions to help farmers, consumers and our planet thrive. In fact, Bayer invests more in plant breeding research and development annually than any other area of our Crop Science division. And yet, we cannot solve humanity’s greatest challenges alone. That’s why we’re working alongside others through our Breeding for All, Hunger for None commitments, which drive agricultural advancements through strategic partnerships and contributions.

Marketeers in India
Rice farmers

Innovation Is in Our DNA

In order to suit the evolving needs of farmers, consumers and our planet, Bayer develops and provides a wide range of crop seed products spanning a wide range of characteristics (e.g., size, shape, color, taste) and adaptations (e.g., production location and condition, pest/disease resistance). We invite you to explore our vegetable products and row crop products as examples of seed choice available to farmers.  

Nearly all of the produce we purchase and enjoy has been improved through plant breeding. Plant breeding makes use of natural genetic variations that exist within plant DNA in order to help provide farmers with crops that are better suited to grow in their specific environment and satisfy consumer preferences at the grocery store. Through years of dedicated research, plant breeding has advanced beyond selecting a parent plant simply based on its appearance. It now includes an in-depth understanding of the genetic makeup of a plant, giving plant breeders the unprecedented ability to better predict which plants will deliver the best combination of characteristics.


Putting all of these insights together, we developed and introduced our yellow Gold 48 watermelon, watermelon growers can benefit from enhanced yield potential, better disease & pest tolerance and higher returns. For consumers used to the red variety of watermelons, the yellow variety is sure to provide a sensory delight and greater choice!


From Molecular Solutions to New Horizons 

Innovations in plant breeding have opened the door to new opportunities for agriculture. Understanding genetic variation offers insight into which plants carry the characteristics (known as traits) that will help them combat environmental challenges like pests, diseases, or drought. In addition, we are also breeding plants that meet consumer demands while also reducing food loss and waste across the entire supply chain.

Consumer Benefits


/// Consumer Benefits 

Advancing Health and Nutrition

It might be surprising to learn that consumer preferences are highly influential in helping evaluate future market demand, which in turn prioritizes our Research and Development breeding resources to support future innovative food choices and advance health and nutrition worldwide. Focusing on every aspect of a plant’s performance from flavor and color to convenience and nutrition, our breeding teams leverage consumer preference data to strategically improve our plant varieties in ways that deliver what people need for their health and nutrition. For example, we developed our Pennybridge broccoli variety to produce small edible leaves—and very few of them—making it a great variety for grilling and roasting. 

Environmental Benefits


/// Environmental Benefits

Climate Resilient Crops Are the Future

As a leader in agriculture, we honor our responsibility to develop solutions that feed a growing global population, while also addressing the evolving challenges of climate change. In addition to our vegetable seed products, we breed our innovative row crops like corn, soybeans and cotton for increased resilience to diseases, pests, pathogens and/or climatic extremes (e.g., drought). By developing crops that are better able to make it to harvest, plant breeding is also a foundational aspect of tackling food loss and waste. 


One promising breeding innovation is a short stature corn variety, which recently launched in Mexico. This variety is more tolerant to drought as research has shown that under limited water conditions, there are signs of reduced stress like leaf rolling and wilting and observed deeper roots which appears to enable the plant to access a deeper water table, demonstrating potential for improved yields under drought conditions.

Farmer Benefits


/// Farmer Benefits

Making Safe Food Accessible for Our Families

Farmers face enormous pressure each year to grow enough for a growing population, care for the environment and adapt to changing consumer preferences—all while earning enough to support their livelihood. Innovation is key in addressing these continuous challenges.


For farmers to flourish, they need the right seeds to suit the unique challenges and opportunities of their individual operations. That means providing access and choice of different genetics that are optimized to unique growing conditions, climates and farming systems. This is accomplished using high-performing seed germplasm used to create valuable new seed products rich in genetic variation. 


Consider the sweet pepper as an example. Our sweet pepper breeders develop varieties with dramatically different, specialized phenotypic (physical characteristics) traits. Many farmers in California prefer sweet peppers bred to be cultivated in an open field environment with large leaves to shield delicate fruit from the sun. In contrast, farmers in Europe and Canada prefer varieties bred to be tall with long internodes and a continuous fruit to enable repeated harvests over a long growing season which suits their different farming operations. 

Scientist extracting rice panicles
Breeding a Better Future for our Food System

With superior genetic combinations and a comprehensive portfolio of tailored solutions, our plant breeders’ work helps serve the diverse needs of farmers and consumers around the world. Looking forward, we’re always pursuing new possibilities to leverage plant breeding innovations to accomplish even more for people and our planet.