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Benson Hill Biosystems Teams With Anheuser-Busch InBev to Develop More Resilient Barley Varieties

The firms say barley varieties need greater resilience to better withstand increasing heat and drought.

Benson Hill Biosystems, a crop improvement company unlocking the natural diversity of plants, and leading brewer Anheuser-Busch InBev (AB InBev) are launching a global partnership to develop improved barley varieties. 

The partnership will use Benson Hill’s computational platform Breed, powered by CropOS, to provide farmers with more productive and sustainable barley varieties.

Recent reports have highlighted barley’s sensitivity to extreme heat and drought, underscoring the importance of developing varieties with greater resilience to climate change. As part of its 2025 Sustainability Goals, AB InBev leverages SmartBarley—a platform that uses data, technology, and insights to help barley farmers in the AB InBev supply chain improve their farm’s productivity and environmental performance, according to company officials. 

AB InBev will use Benson Hill’s Breed application together with traditional breeding methods to help accelerate the development of higher yielding barley varieties that use less water and other natural resources.  

“For AB InBev, brewing quality beer starts with the best ingredients. That requires a healthy environment and thriving communities,” said Gary Hanning, global director of barley research at AB InBev, in a company news release. “Benson Hill’s powerful Breed application positions us at the forefront of innovation to develop more resilient and sustainable varieties of barley for growers and the best-quality malt for our brewers.”

Benson Hill empowers organizations of any size across the agri-food value chain to benefit from the most advanced tools in seed innovation, say company officials. They say CropOS identifies the most promising genetics for any targeted outcome from higher yield to environmental sustainability or enhanced nutrition. The platform’s machine-learning capability calibrates and evolves with each field trial and data set, improving its predictive capability to accelerate product development, say company officials. 

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