Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: September 1, 2001
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: Maize is the major crop of the U.S., and accounts for half of the world's production. But warnings about genetic vulnerability of the crop exist. Therefore, it was thought prudent to develop alternative breeding populations from diverse exotic sources to prevent possible production breakdowns. The first step was the Latin American Maize Project, involving g11 Latin American countries and the U.S. Over 12,000 different varieties were evaluated for agronomic productivity. The second step involved enhancement of the best varieties. It was necessary to have commercial seed company input for this step, but the USDA's Agricultural Research Service and Land Grant Universities joined the effort to generate cooperation and coordination among private firms. The two projects were designed to benefit the U.S. maize industry and to collaborate with Latin American countries to expand the diversity of useful maize varieties for both parties.