Bayer CropScience announced this week that it is expanding its seeds and traits business to include wheat and, to that end, recently formalized a long-term partnership with CSIRO, Australia’s national research organization and a leading wheat researcher.
The company said the alliance will be aimed at improving cereal production “utilizing modern techniques,” with a focus on higher yields, more efficient nutrient utilization and tolerance against abiotic stress like drought.
One initial project of the collaboration will focus on improved yield and stress tolerance, while another will focus on improved use of phosphorus. New varieties should be available to farmers as early as 2015.
Bayer CropScience’s seeds and traits business is currently focused on cotton, canola, rice and vegetables, in addition to soybeans and corn, though the company does work in crop protection products for cereals.
CSIRO, which stands for the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, is one of the largest scientific research organizations in the world. Bayer CropScience and CSIRO also collaborate on cotton research.
In a press release announcing the partnership, the company said it plans to invest €750 million, or more than $1 billion, in seeds and traits research and development from 2008 to 2012. In May, Bayer CropScience announced it would invest $10 million over five years to establish a plant biotechnology research center North Carolina, to be opened this fall.
For more about the Bayer announcement, please visit http://www.bayercropscience.com/bcsweb/cropprotection.nsf/id/EN_20090721?open&l=EN&ccm=500020
For more on CSIRO, please see please see www.csiro.au