Wheat is a staple crop for the majority of our world’s population: two billion people rely on it. Moreover, wheat represents 20 per cent of the world’s calorie consumption and 20 per cent of protein intake for the poorest half of the world.
In the 2015/2016 season, the European Union (EU) was the largest wheat exporter, followed by Russia and the US. Beyond that, the EU makes up the largest wheat producing region, followed by China, India, and the US.
“In Western Europe we have cereal yields of up to eight tons per hectare, whereas the global average of cereal yields amounts to three tons,” says Gerhard Feurer, global segment manager Bayer SeedGrowth. Cereal production in Russia, on the other hand, is above the global average, at five tons per hectare.
More Advanced Products in the Future
But farmers are struggling to meet the huge demand for this product. To meet the challenge, researchers at Bayer’s Crop Science Division are working with a global network of breeding stations, crop research facilities, and external partners to develop robust wheat plants that are optimized for local conditions.
“The growing world population will determine the developments in cereal production. There will be even better seeds, more advanced crop protection products, some of them with a crop efficiency effect, and there will be an improvement in terms of application technologies for crop protection products and fertilizers as well. Here the digitization of agriculture will also be of great assistance,” Feurer emphasizes.
In total, there are currently seven breeding stations around the globe operated by Bayer: France, US (2), Canada, Germany, Australia – and number seven is going to open in Ukraine during 2017. This new location will be the key breeding station for Eastern Europe.
Wheat Breeding Station Ukraine: Facts And Figures
- Opening: 2017
- Business divisions: breeding station with breeding team working in the laboratories on site; wheat seed factory for cleaning of commercial seed batches; Bayer SeedGrowth® application center (training center for Bayer SeedGrowth products). The breeding program is operational and the facility is in the final stages of remodeling
- Employees: breeding station (9), Bayer SeedGrowth Service Center (3), wheat seed factory (10)
- Focus: hybrid wheat program
Source: seed growth.bayer.com