The following is an edited excerpt.
After the “crisis” of glyphosate tolerant wheat being found in an Oregon field, I thought it would be useful to put that event into perspective.
Wheat is largely a “saved seed crop,” meaning that farmers set aside some of the grain from each harvest to use as seed the next year. This is a practical thing for these growers to do because planting rates of wheat seed are very high (e.g. 80 or more lbs/acre) so it would be very expensive to haul bags or bins of seed very far. Also, except for a little bit in Europe, wheat is not a hybrid crop, like corn, so it is not necessary to buy new seed each year to get the highest yielding types. If a farmer plants the wheat from last year’s crop, he/she will get the same kind of wheat in the new harvest… well, mostly. Wheat is not pollinated by insects, but rather by wind, so pollen can blow in from another field where the variety might be different. This is something like a 1% issue. The wheat can get mixed over time because of little amounts left in combines or grain wagons. Also, weed seeds can build up over time – that is definitely rogue genetics! Over time, if only saved seed is used, the field will represent a mix of genetics.
Read the complete post here: Rogue GE wheat now found in 127 countries!