Agchem giant Bayer Cropscience has added to its new breeding programme by acquiring a wheat breeding station in central France from RAGT.

The station, situated within one of the key wheat regions near Paris, comprises about 77ha of land with an additional 100ha leased as well as glasshouses and laboratories.

This acquisition is the latest move by the company which is building a leading global wheat breeding programme through selecting for outstanding agronomic properties in a broad pool of local and global breeding materials.

“We are focused on increasing yields in wheat and adapting new varieties to existing environmental challenges,” said Mathias Kremer, head of the BioScience business unit at the company.

“This new breeding station in France will enable us to deliver solutions to wheat farmers more rapidly by tapping into our global network of experts, tools like molecular breeding as well as working closely with local partners and farmers.”

Breeders are also developing new varieties with improved tolerance to stresses like drought and heat as well as with an improved resistance to fungal diseases. Another important criterion is the grain quality.

Bayer’s first wheat varieties are expected to be available to farmers by the end of the decade.

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