DECATUR, Ill. — Wheat plays third fiddle to corn and
soybeans, yet it is the world’s most widely grown crop, comprising 25 percent of
the cereal crops.
However, wheat productivity is increasing at less than 1
percent annually while demand grows at twice that rate, according to David
Hollinrake, Bayer CropScience agricultural commercial operations marketing vice
“As you think about the global population and you think
about wheat and its importance to feeding the growing world, it’s quite
significant,” Hollinrake said at the Farm Progress Show.
“We see this as an opportunity. We see this as an
obligation, and we see this as the next frontier in seed production enhancement.
We are partnering with universities, and we are partnering aggressively with the
wheat industry to change the game.
“Over the next few months, we’re going to break ground on a
wheat breeding station near Lincoln, Neb., and we’re going to partner with the
University of Nebraska, which will result in critical advancements wheat
production, which is needed across the globe.”
Bayer CropScience entered into an agreement to lease and
option to purchase 400 acres of land near Goehner, Neb., located 30 miles west
of Lincoln in Seward County, for the new North American breeding station.
In 2010, Bayer CropScience and the University of
Nebraska-Lincoln signed a nonexclusive agreement to improve wheat breeding and
generate new wheat varieties.
Since that time, Bayer has been working to identify a
suitable site in Nebraska to establish its North American Regional Wheat
Throughout the process, Bayer has worked with the State of
Nebraska Department of Economic Development and Seward County Economic
The company will continue to work closely with this groups
and the community and around Goehner as development plants progress on the site.
Bayer CropScience is committed to the improvement of wheat
cultivation through research and education and is working closely with local
initiatives in support of growth in these areas.
The Goehner breeding station will be part of Bayer
CropScience’s global network of wheat breeding stations situated in the heart of
key wheat production regions. Additional breeding centers are planned in Europe
and other regions over the coming years.
“Bayer wants to become the provider of choice to wheat
growers by offering superior solutions from seed to shelf, including seeds,
traits and crop protection products and services,” Hollinrake said.