There is currently quite a bit of controversy about cloning and other genetic approaches. Some are anxious about the potential of preprogramming human offspring. The obvious ethical questions could be discussed at length. But when discussing the manipulation of plant genetics there is quite a history of benefits. Plant breeding's main aim is to develop improved cultivars. The improvements include increased resistance to diseases and insects, greater yield, higher quality, and greater tolerance of climate and soil conditions.

In addition, seed companies can find a better market when they have a new or improved cultivars to offer. Companies want to be the first to produce a an improved plant cultivar because the Plant Variety Protection Act affords marketable benefits.

Another reason why plant breeders work to develop new varieties is intellectual curiosity. Although a new cultivar may not be developed, other scientific knowledge is gained when forage traits are studied.