The impact of seeds on our lives is enormous. Seeds are the foundation of human and animal life on earth. The foods we eat, the fibers in the clothes we wear, and most of the products we use in our daily lives are created from seeds-from corn, cotton, and canola to wheat, barley, and soybean, to vegetables, flax, and flowers. As the delivery mechanism for new plant technologies and varieties, seed is also the crux of agriculture. Quality seed is essential for growing quality crops.
Products grown from seeds are critical in meeting modern consumers’ needs for the “Four F’s” – food, feed, fiber, and fuel. And demand is continuing to grow. Between 2015 and 2030, it is expected that the world population will increase by over 1.86 billion people. Much of this growth will come in countries that currently don’t have enough natural and other resources to adequately feed and clothe their citizens.
Thanks to continuous improvement in productivity and technology, the seed industry is meeting the expanding needs of the global market. It is feeding more people, producing healthier foods, using fewer resources and more renewable materials, while offering quality products with more diversity. And it is accomplishing all this with a smaller environmental footprint.
The seed industry is also making a growing contribution to the economy. In 2007, the U.S. seed industry, which represents about 21% of the global seed market, generated $11.2 billion in sales.