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What Bayer is Up To With Wheat

 

Wheat has taken a back seat to corn and soybeans in recent years.
However, companies are placing more emphasis on wheat these days.

“Wheat is a bastion of potential improvement in yield potential,” says
Mike Deall, vice president of marketing, portfolio management for Bayer Crop
Science. Deall and other Bayer executives gave an update of their wheat
activities at the Commodity Classic earlier this year.

Here are some highlights:

·     
Bayer
is emphasizing winter wheat through an initiative it initially launched in 2009
with Ducks Unlimited. Winfield Solutions has also joined the effort by
featuring winter wheat demonstration plots at sites in North Dakota. South
Dakota Statue University, North Dakota State University, and the University of
Minnesota have also joined this program as research partners. The program is
intended to promote the expansion of winter cereals in one of the most critical
waterfowl nesting regions in the world.

“We are looking at cold tolerance,
disease resistance and abiotic stress tolerance,” says Geoff Keen,
vice president and head of bioscience Research Triangle Park
Operations for Bayer CropScience.

·     

This June, Bayer entered into a license and
cooperation agreement RAGT Semences S.A.S., a French-based company. Under the
agreement, RAGT grants Bayer CropScience access to winter wheat germplasm and
associated molecular markers.

·     
Last
year, Bayer joined the University of Nebraska in an agreement to boost wheat
breeding and develop new wheat varieties.

·     
Last
year, Bayer also entered a five-year collaboration with Evogene to develop and
introduce improved wheat varieties.

·     
Last
year, Bayer also acquired wheat-breeding programs from two Ukranian breeding
companies, SORT and EUROSORT. Bayer will gain access to wheat lines with
excellent winter hardiness and drought tolerance, company officials say.

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