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Plant Breeding

Varieties bred at Rutgers NJAES have been developed using traditional breeding techniques and would be approved for use in organic production. These varieties do not fall under the category of “GMO” crops.

In agriculture, variety selection is a key strategy for managing pests and diseases, as well as improving yields and profits. At Rutgers New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station, plant breeders develop and evaluate varieties for New Jersey and the region. They select cultivars for factors including fruit quality, yield, and resistance to diseases of local importance. Other goals of plant breeding include heat and drought tolerance and cold hardiness.

Not all crops bred at NJAES are typically produced under organic conditions in New Jersey. Organic tree fruit, for instance, would be exceedingly difficult and costly to produce due to pest and disease pressure. Selecting disease-resistant or tolerant varieties can help all growers reduce their reliance on conventional chemicals.

Currently, NJAES plant breeders are working on a variety of crops including: