Am I Getting What I Paid For?
All seedlings look pretty much the same. How do you know the seedlings you are planting are the advanced genetics seedlings you paid for?
Hybrid loblolly pine seedlings, known as mass control pollinated (ArborGen’s MCP®), offer landowners the opportunity to dramatically increase the value of and returns from their land. However, landowners will only get the value of these improved seedlings if there isn’t any significant “contamination” by open-pollinated (OP) seedlings. How can you know for sure?
MCP or CP (“Control Pollinated” which are not from ArborGen) purity and integrity are dependent on making sure each step of the production process has a clear chain of custody, identification, and tracking. ArborGen has identified 14 seed/seedling production points where the transfer of genetic identity and mistakes occur and created procedures to minimize and eliminate those mist.
To ensure our clients are getting the quality advanced genetics they invested in, ArborGen has developed the MCP Quality Assurance and Quality Control Program, the first of its kind in the forestry industry. This program ensures that our clients know exactly what they are paying for – the highest quality hybrid seedlings available in ArborGen’s MCP.
Fig. 1, Ravenel, SC Orchard: Branch tags identify the cross and pollen parent used for every first & second year conelet branch used for ArborGen MCP seedlings to prevent contamination with OP seed or mixing with other crosses.
For example, a crucial step in the MCP process is the identification of the MCP/CP cones. Some CP producers harvest all of the cones from a tree used for CP production as CP cones, resulting in the production of a mixture of MCP and OP seed.
This process results in “CP” seedlings that are, in reality, a combination of OP and MCP seedlings having a significant impact on the value a landowner can realize from their investment in CP seedlings.
At ArborGen, our orchard workers prevent accidentally mixing MCP and OP cones by placing a tag on every branch that has bagged flowers and bag every flower on a tagged branch. CP producers that do not tag branches do not have complete control over genetic purity during cone harvest.
Our tagging policy and procedure ensure contamination does not happen. At ArborGen, no tag on the branch means no MCP production. ArborGen has been tagging branches since the onset of MCP sales in 2010, and current practices require tags on every branch at every orchard used for MCP production.
In addition, as part of the QA/QC program, ArborGen has made a significant investment in new, proprietary DNA fingerprinting tools. We have specific protocols to evaluate every element of our production process –from orchard to seedling delivery. MCP production can only produce MCP seedlings that are genetically pure if there is the certainty of the genetic identity of the orchard tree and the pollen used in the process.
We can demonstrate to landowners that their investment will result in the returns they are expecting. Contact your Reforestation Advisor to learn more about our program and the results you can get by investing in our MCP products.
Get to Know Geoffrey Hill
Geoffrey Hill is a Reforestation Advisor for ArborGen in Georgia, Virginia, Northern NC, and Eastern Tennessee.
Geoffrey has worked in forestry for over 40 years. In this video, Geoffrey talks about his family’s history with forestry and what he enjoys most about the industry.
What’s Happening: Containerized Loblolly Seedling Sowing
It’s that time of year for your ArborGen Nurseries to sow seed for the next crop of top-performing Loblolly Containerized pine seedlings.
With over 60 years of tree breeding experience, product development, and production, your Reforestation Advisors are here to help you attain your goals. Watch this short video to see the care that goes into each and every seedling.
Get in touch with a Reforestation Advisor to explore your options!
Paul Jeffreys, Ph.D.
Western Tennessee, Alabama, and Mississippi
North Carolina and Virginia
Eastern Texas, Southern Louisiana
Florida Gulf Coast, South Alabama
Arkansas, Northern Louisiana, and Oklahoma
Director, U.S. Sales
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