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Game-changing high rise broccoli earns PMA Science & Technology Circle of Excellence award

This broccoli is bringing a whole new meaning to the term “superfood.”

High Rise™ broccoli by Seminis Vegetable Seeds, part of Bayer’s Crop Science Division, has earned top accolades in this year’s Science & Technology Circle of Excellence Award competition by Produce Marketing Association (PMA). High Rise broccoli’s innovative traits and their benefits deliver. more than tasty nutrition for broccoli fans; they also dish up relief for broccoli growers and processors who face a critical shortage of skilled labor.

As much as 20 years in the making and developed in collaboration with growers, High Rise broccoli offers supply chain-wide benefits from field to store to table. High Rise broccoli delivers cleaner stems with fewer large leaves, and visible crowns that are firm and heavy. With uniform crown maturity, competitive yield and consistent product quality, High Rise means fewer harvest passes and is also well suited for time-saving machine harvesting. That means growers could significantly reduce their field labor; harvesters can make 1-2 passes through a field to cut plants, rather than the current three or more passes, and less leaf trimming is needed. Helping producers to transition to machine harvesting and processing frees workers up for more productive and rewarding tasks. High Rise broccoli’s firm heads and tender stems meet today’s market demands for broccoli crowns, bunches and florets.

Bayer Crop Science’s Technology Development Representatives Fernanda Ferraro and Jeanmarie Harty received the award May 2 from 2018 award winner PlantTape USA’s President Brian Antle and PMA’s Vice President of Technology Vonnie Estes. The award was presented at PMA’s 2019 Tech Knowledge symposium, held May 1-2 in Monterey.

“This product is exciting because it harnesses the power of plant breeding to address our industry’s biggest pain point – a shortage of skilled labor – in a holistic way, while also paving the way to develop other new harvesting technology,” said Estes. “This is a shining example of how seed variety innovations can fundamentally change how we conduct our business. Reducing our growers’ and processors’ stresses while also better meeting market needs, ultimately that increases ROI and makes these businesses and markets more sustainable.”

“Being recognized in this area of science and technology provides validation that Bayer Crop Science is making a difference in agriculture, creating solutions to real problems that will improve people’s lives and provide the opportunity for increased sustainability for the future,” said West Region U.S. Sales Lead Drew Johnson. “I am very proud to have been and continue to be part of our global broccoli team focused on innovative solutions and changing the game for our customers and key industry stakeholders.”

High Rise broccoli was selected from 41 nominations to PMA’s award program, a significant increase from last year’s 20 nominations. Those nominations were reviewed by a panel of judges that included PMA staff science and technology experts, and qualified industry executives including previous award winners.

PMA created the Science & Technology Circle of Excellence Award in 2017 to recognize game-changing science or technology innovations that can help the produce and floral industry to create better products, processes or other customer value. It is one of four Awards of Excellence that PMA offers to recognize individuals and companies who are advancing the industry through leadership, marketing and innovation. This particular award is one way that PMA works to bring its members together with science and technology connections they need for the future of their businesses.

PlantTape USA’s Antle echoed the motivational impact that receiving the 2018 award has had on his company. “Receiving this award was a tremendous honor. To have our industry peers recognize the hard work our team has put into developing and commercializing the PlantTape system has further inspired all of us.”

About Produce Marketing Association (PMA)
Produce Marketing Association is the leading trade association representing companies from every segment of the global produce and floral supply chain. PMA helps members grow by providing connections that expand business opportunities and increase sales and consumption. For more information, visit

About Seminis
Seminis is committed to providing innovative solutions for every generation to help sustain our growing world. For over 150 years, the Seminis legacy has focused on producing the best vegetable seed varieties for growers to use in farming operations around the world. We are proud to support our grower partners by continuously developing new seed varieties through our global research and development team and specialty breeders, and by providing ongoing agronomic solutions to unique farming challenges. Together with our growers, we are passionate about bringing high-quality, nutritious produce to ensure a balanced plate for our global community. Seminis is represented by the Seminis® and De Ruiter® seed brands. Seminis is the Vegetable Seeds business of Bayer’s Crop Science division. For more information about Seminis® seed, visit Seminis and De Ruiter are registered trademarks of Bayer Group. ©2019 Bayer Group. All rights reserved.

About Bayer
Bayer is a global enterprise with core competencies in the life science fields of health care and nutrition. Its products and services are designed to benefit people by supporting efforts to overcome the major challenges presented by a growing and aging global population. At the same time, the Group aims to increase its earning power and create value through innovation and growth. Bayer is committed to the principles of sustainable development, and the Bayer brand stands for trust, reliability and quality throughout the world. In fiscal 2018, the Group employed around 117,000 people and had sales of 39.6 billion euros. Capital expenditures amounted to 2.6 billion euros, expenses to 5.2 billion euros. For more information, go to

Contact: Cassidy Taylor, +1 (302) 781-5852