Gear mentioned in this thread:
The article is way off - real reason is that there are more large companies looking to maximize profit so growing varieties that are less profitable, well aren't grown because they don't make anywhere near as much money, have disease problems... Not because of patents, which wouldn't affect old varieties.
Problem is that it is very hard for bigger farmers not to use Monsanto's seeds because if their neighbour uses the patented seed and the wind blows some of them onto the farm without the patented seed then Monsanto sues that farmer and he has to pay up or lose everything.
It's a racket lain and simple.
I once asked my ex (the farmer) why he did not just keep seed back to plant the next spring.
His reply was that it was sterile and only good one time around.
Most of his corn yield at that time went for animal feed (a "new" super seed lol) and was very tough with no flavor...impossible to eat.
I asked him if he would plant a few acres of sweet corn for our personal use.
The seed came from an old timer who had been saving seed since the beginning of time lol.
We left 2 acres unplanted in the middle of a field set aside for Pioneer and we planted by hand.
Now I know why.
What's the 'right way'? You do realize that you would still end up with the same gene either way. Except with conventional breeding, you end up with a lot of unknown changes.
And for time, it would depend how likely you are to get a mutation to do what you want and the amount of resources you have at hand.