New varieties and traits will be tailored to the unique challenges Canadian growers face, enhancing their ability to remain competitive in global markets
Calgary, Alberta (June 10, 2016) – Bayer has opened a new state-of-the-art Wheat Breeding Station in Pike Lake, Saskatchewan, as part of the company’s ongoing commitment to deliver innovative solutions to agriculture. The facility will focus on developing high yielding wheat hybrids with better disease resistance and higher tolerance to stresses like drought or heat. These new wheat varieties will be important tools for Canadian growers as they continue to compete in the global market.
“About 25 per cent of the world’s agricultural land is used to grow wheat, making it the most widely-grown crop on the planet,” says Dr. Marcus Weidler, Head of Seeds Canada. “We are developing new technologies with the goals that farmers are able to efficiently and sustainably feed a growing world, while maintaining a competitive edge in the global market.”
The investment in the Wheat Breeding Station is part of the company’s larger commitment to spend 1.3 billion Euros ($1.9 billion) on innovation in wheat seeds globally over the next ten years. To date, Bayer has invested $24 million into the Wheat Breeding Station in Canada to help ensure Canadian farmers continue to have the tools they need.
“Our aim is to develop hybrid spring wheat that offers improved yields, yield stability, disease resistance and productivity improvements tailored for the challenges growers face in Western Canada,” says Al Driver, President and CEO, Bayer CropScience Inc. “With the opening of the new facility, Bayer’s local wheat breeding programs are expected to produce results for Canadian farmers within the next six to eight years.”
“The Seeds innovations that will take place here will enable farmers to buy high quality and locally adapted seeds to help ensure the best results for their farm – environmentally – socially and economically,” said Frank Terhorst, Head of Global Seeds.
Bayer first broke ground on the new Wheat Breeding Station in September 2014. Now complete, the facility features laboratories, workshops, office spaces, equipment and seed storage, and aims to employ a total of 15 to 20 full-time and seasonal staff members.
Bayer: Science For A Better Life
Bayer is a global enterprise with core competencies in the Life Science fields of health care and agriculture. Its products and services are designed to benefit people and improve their quality of life. At the same time, the Group aims to create value through innovation, growth and high earning power. Bayer is committed to the principles of sustainable development and to its social and ethical responsibilities as a corporate citizen. In fiscal 2015, the Group employed around 117,000 people and had sales of EUR 46.3 billion. Capital expenditures amounted to EUR 2.6 billion, R&D expenses to EUR 4.3 billion. These figures include those for the high-tech polymers business, which was floated on the stock market as an independent company named Covestro on October 6, 2015. For more information, go to www.cropscience.bayer.ca
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