TABLE A.8 Time Required for Traditional Breeding of New Crop Varieties

Crop

Cross to Date of Determination, years

Date of Determination to Application, years

Total, years

Barley

7.0

3.4

10.4

Bean

8.0

3.3

11.3

Cauliflower

11.0

7.5

18.5

Corn

5.5

2.0

7.5

Cotton

8.0

4.2

12.2

Lettuce

7.0

2.6

9.6

Oats

8.8

2.1

10.9

Onion

9.0

2.9

11.9

Peas

7.0

4.0

11.0

Rice

6.0

2.8

8.8

Safflower

6.0

1.7

7.7

Soybean

6.2

3.0

9.2

Squash

11.0

3.7

14.7

Tobacco

8.5

2.6

11.1

Tomato

8.3

1.4

9.7

Watermelon

8.5

5.0

13.5

Wheat

8.0

2.8

10.8

Source: McMullen (1987).

that germplasm would be under $10-25,000 (once varietal development costs were subtracted from Monsanto's estimate).

Conversations with specialists in the field indicate that, once a novel gene is identified, inserting it into crop germplasm via genetic engineering could cost $10,000-200,000. If it is used for a single variety only, the model presented above indicates that the additional gene could increase the fixed cost of breeding a new variety by $37,000-690,000. Once present in germplasm, however, the gene is available for use in multiple crosses, as is any other germplasm used in breeding. For example, genes for single Bt toxins have already been used in dozens of crop varieties. The gene is likely to be used in multiple varieties, so the increase in the fixed cost of breeding will generally be considerably lower because the cost per variety decreases geometrically with the number of varieties in which the gene is used.

Developing a new variety will be economically viable if the present value of its sales at least covers the cost of development. Thus, expected annual sales of the variety and its expected lifetime in the market will influence R&D decisions. Let S denote expected annual sales of the variety, assumed constant (in real terms) for simplicity, and D denote the



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