For centuries, agricultural crops have been improved through the controlled pollination of plants, today known as selective breeding or hybridization.
Plant biotechnology simply is an extension of traditional plant breeding that allows for more precise transfer of characteristics to develop crops with specific beneficial traits, such as weed control, insect protection, higher yield and improved health benefits for consumers.
Farmers use crop improvements like those available through biotechnology to assure an abundant, healthy food supply, while lessening impacts of modern agriculture on the environment.
That is the case with biotechnology-enhanced sugar beets. Growers now are able to control weeds in a more environmentally sustainable way, while producing pure and natural sugar that is the same as sugar improved through conventional methods. Biotechnology provides a platform for new technologies to manage the challenges farmers face and develop traits, such as increased options for weed control, insect protection and disease resistance.