Bayer CropScience enters non-exclusive agreement with University of South Dakota for wheat breeding, germplasm access to further improve wheat breeding programs

MONHEIM, Germany , November 28, 2011 (press release) – Bayer CropScience and South Dakota State University (SDSU) in Brookings, S.D., USA, have signed a non-exclusive agreement for wheat breeding and germplasm access. It enables both parties to further improve their respective wheat breeding programs, provides needed innovation to wheat growers and ensures resources for advanced education in the field of wheat breeding. Financial details were not disclosed.

Bayer is committed to helping farmers achieve sustainable cereal production, through the ongoing development of higher yielding, high quality and competitive cereal production solutions including seeds, traits, crop protection products and services. With this agreement, Bayer gains access to a selection of outstanding spring wheat germplasm of SDSU, thereby increasing the available genetic resources to improve wheat varieties. Bayer brings an ability to expand the genetic potential of wheat ultimately delivering important productivity gains in this crop to wheat farmers in key markets around the world. Additionally, the University gains resources for advanced education in the field of wheat breeding through the establishment of an endowed chair in wheat breeding and genetics.

The University is the leading provider of spring wheat varieties in South Dakota and varieties from SDSU are also grown on significant acreage in North Dakota and Minnesota, USA.

The new agreement will further complement other agreements and collaborations that Bayer has in wheat with other organizations, including NARDI (Romania), RAGT (France), University of Nebraska-Lincoln (USA), Evogene (Israel), Sort/EuroSort (Ukraine) and CSIRO (Australia). Additionally, it builds on an on-going winter wheat partnership between Bayer CropScience, SDSU and the U.S. wetlands and waterfowl conservation organization Ducks Unlimited.

“This public-private agreement with SDSU is part of our strategy to establish relationships with the leading global institutions working on the improvement of wheat”, said Hartmut van Lengerich, Head of Cereals and Fungicide at Bayer CropScience. “Our R&D efforts are focused on the most urgent problems facing wheat growers today and in the future. We are working on the development of wheat varieties with higher yield, more efficient nutrient utilization and tolerance against abiotic stress such as drought or heat.”

Kevin D. Kephart, Vice President for Research at SDSU, added: “We are very pleased that our relationship with Bayer CropScience continues to strengthen and that we are part of their global effort to increase wheat production and provide value to wheat producers. Our spring wheat varieties are widely adapted to the Northern Great Plains region and will be valuable to Bayer’s global program. We look forward to continuing our relationship with the Bayer team to improve wheat production and enhance South Dakota’s economic development through this work.”

Key figures about wheat:
With about 25 percent of the global agricultural land under wheat cultivation, it is the largest cereal crop in terms of acreage and one of the world’s most important staple foods. Wheat is the second most-produced cereal crop after corn with more than 650 million tons produced every year. Wheat productivity is increasing at less than 1 percent annually, while the annual global demand is growing at approximately double that percentage. Main wheat producing regions are Australia, the Black Sea Region, China, the EU, India and North America.

About Bayer CropScience
Bayer is a global enterprise with core competencies in the fields of health care, nutrition and high-tech materials. Bayer CropScience, a subgroup of Bayer AG with annual sales of EUR 6.830 billion (2010), is one of the world’s leading innovative crop science companies in the areas of crop protection, non-agricultural pest control, seeds and traits. The company offers an outstanding range of products and extensive service backup for modern, sustainable agriculture and for non-agricultural applications. Bayer CropScience has a global workforce of 20,700 and is represented in more than 120 countries. This and further news is available at:

About South Dakota State University
Founded in 1881, South Dakota State University is the state’s Morrill Act land-grant institution as well as its largest, most comprehensive school of higher education. SDSU confers degrees from eight different colleges representing more than 175 majors, minors and specializations. The institution also offers 29 master’s degree programs, 12 Ph.D. and two professional programs.

The work of the university is carried out on a residential campus in Brookings, at sites in Sioux Falls, Pierre and Rapid City, and through Cooperative Extension offices and Agricultural Experiment Station research sites across the state.

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