New Prograin varieties are developed by Sylvain Legay (selector) and his team at our research farm. The process of selection involves identifying the best plants among the many that are grown, according to the traits that are most sought after by our customers!
It all starts with a cross…
The cross is a mix of two soybean varieties (genetics) that generates an average of 1 to 4 seeds. The research team uses tweezers to collect pollen from the male flowers, which is then transferred onto the female flowers.
The selection process
From their very first year, the seeds are sent to South America for sowing and multiplication. The seasonal shifts between the northern and southern hemispheres allow an entire season to be shaved off the process of developing a new variety!
At the end of the following spring, the seeds are returned to us. They are then sown in multiple locations and labelled. When mature, plants from the progeny of a cross are selected. The chosen seedlings are harvested individually, and their grains are kept in envelopes for the following year.
Every year, the seeds that were selected the previous year are sown again, but in larger quantities. During the next growing season, the team members complete a visual selection of the most promising plots. At harvest time, they visually select the plants with the desired traits, such as:
- disease resistance;
As time goes by, the selected seeds are sent to multiple Prograin locations across Canada. These seeds are compared to seeds grown in controlled plots (proven varieties already on the market), and only the top performers are kept. The seeds are exposed to different temperatures and weather conditions in order to assess their performance. They also undergo evaluation in official trials before they are put on the market.
Finally, the thing to remember about the selection process is that the plants are selected over the course of multiple generations and are tested on an ever-larger area. Prograin soybean varieties undergo many stages before they make it to your fields. Our company’s goal is always continuous improvement, so we can bring you the soybean varieties that have the very best genetics!