40-Year Biotech Leader: “An Incredible Explosion of Information”

Posted by Margy Eckelkamp on Tue, 11/13/2018 - 12:27

Dr. Robb Fraley will present the closing keynote at the 2018 AgTech Expo, “Breakthrough Innovations in Breeding: From Machine Learning to CRISPR and Beyond.”

The event is Dec. 3 to 5, 2018 in Indianapolis. Click here for a full event agenda.

Register for the 2018 AgTech Expo today! Your $99 registration includes all meals and two networking receptions.

Fraley discussed how technologies are propelling the industry forward with Clinton Griffiths on AgriTalk this morning:

“There's never been a time like this and agriculture when we've had so many advances in so many different areas,” Fraley said.

Some of those advances include:

  • advanced breeding techniques
  • digital tools: from sensors to satellites to artificial intelligence
  • an explosion of information, particularly real-time information

Fraley’s keynote at the AgTech Expo will detail how molecular breeding and gene editing tools like CRISPR are enabling scientists to breed better plants with more precision and speed than ever thought possible; what it could mean for productivity, food security and environmental sustainability; and why the ability to realize these benefits hinges on effective communication.

“This adds up to the ability to do precise breeding and precise placement of seeds in optimal conditions. And when I say optimal, I mean both optimal for addressing yield but also optimal in terms of farmer’s costs and having the kind of impact we would like to have on improving the environmental footprint of farming. So I believe in a world where technology is going to let us do more using less input and less resources. And that's important from both an economic and environmental perspective,” he says.

It has been nearly 40 years since Fraley started working on ag biotech research at Monsanto, and more than 20 years since he led the development and launch of the first genetically modified crops. Now the former CTO sees more breeding breakthroughs on the horizon, driven by rapidly expanding knowledge of plant genetics and remarkable advances in machine learning and data analytics.

Click here to learn more about the 2018 Farm Journal AgTech Expo, Dec. 3 to 5 in Indianapolis.