b'Hybrid wheat field. Source: Bayer.than 15 different countries and is still popular. We have alsoanother decade, we still believe our CHA system is the best to succeeded in de-regulating sintofen, whose market authorizationcreate superior hybrids, even though seed production seems to we expect to extend until 2034, and which we provide for R&Dbe more costly. But we are ready to embrace any new seed pro-purposes to several breeders worldwide. duction technology which will prove better, and we are investing Unfortunately, he adds, many hybrids are difficult and costlyin several of them. to produce, which has restricted their number. During manyDe Castelbajac explains that the HW supply chain will years we worked hard to improve seed production in order torequire a certain volume of high-quality seed stock, either for meet the demand, and we often frustrated clients because wevery early orders or to supplement insufficient new seed crops, could not supply enough seed, and of course there was no sup- but this has become a growing challenge with higher summer plier other than us, says de Castelbajac. Our sales reachedtemperatures, rising energy costs and fewer insecticides. ASUR a high plateau between 2008 and 2014, thanks to attractivehas therefore developed a vacuum-packing process (called wheat prices and a continuous geographical expansion. SinceSAFETHY) that preserves stored valuable seed such as HW then, lower commodity prices, an unlucky succession of climaticfrom germination losses or insect attacks. It is now offered to extremes, leading to consecutive years of low income for farmersother seed companies by Tamia-Pack, a fully owned start-up and the increased use of farm-saved seed, has had a negativewhich we created for that purpose. impact on our sales.Another development is pollen supplementation of the female However, thanks to some new generation hybrids, easierin hybrid seed production. ASUR, Syngenta and the French public and cheaper to produce, ASUR has started to shift its businessresearch institute INRAe (through a joint venture POLLINOVA), model towards licensing, in order to reduce intermediation andhave patented a device to increase seed yield in hybrid produc-logistics costs, as well as seed costs.tion of cereals, corn and potentially many other crops. BASF, within the next few years, plans to bring IdeltisBayer has been using different technologies to bring new HW to the commercial market across Europe, where Dimitriadiand innovative seeds to market, including hybridization, GM says it will offer the greatest value to growers.technologies and now also gene editing technologies. Busch gives an example of Bayers development of a short-stature corn in SEED PRODUCTION three different ways (classical breeding, biotechnology and gene Syngenta is currently developing hybrids using the CMSediting technology), which allows for tailored solutions to the hybridization technology following significant seed productiongrowers region and regulatory environment. Another example knowledge gained from over 20 years experience thanks to thefor state-of-the art breeding is the unique Marana Greenhouses development of hybrid barley, says Hiles. According to him, thisin Arizona, US, which serves as a global product design center should put Syngenta in a position to quickly deliver quality mate- for corn, says Busch. By bringing the breeding process indoors, rial at scale to wheat growers more seed products can be developed faster, resulting in farmers Von Rhade notes that despite the fact that some of the mainbenefitting from the latest technology.issues in HW development (e.g., the need to incorporate severalBASF uses the CMS process of hybridization for the multi-restorer genes in the male parent) can now be solved thanksplication of commercial hybrid seeds, which is a natural process to technological progress, for the time being and for maybeoriginating in wild wheat, uses no chemicals and produces large EUROPEAN-SEED.COMIEUROPEAN SEED I 9'