Many challenges face plant scientists, in particular those working on crop production, such as a projected increase in population, decrease in water and arable land, changes in weather patterns and predictability. Advances in genome sequencing and resequencing can and should play a role in our response to meeting these challenges. However, several barriers prevent rapid and effective deployment of these tools to a wide variety of crops. Because of the complexity of crop genomes, de novo sequencing with next-generation sequencing technologies is a process fraught with difficulties that then create roadblocks to the utilization of these genome sequences for crop improvement. Collecting rapid and accurate phenotypes in crop plants is a hindrance to integrating genomics with crop improvement, and advances in informatics are needed to put these tools in the hands of the scientists on the ground.