Advanced breeding technologies and sharing germplasm may bring you better wheat.
Dow AgroSciences LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Dow Chemical Company, has announced a new investment in the Australian wheat industry.
Dow AgroSciences in Indianapolis has entered into an agreement with HRZ Wheats of Canberra, a wheat breeding company established in 2003 with the specific charter of providing wheat farmers in the high rainfall zone of Australia with high yielding, milling quality varieties. Dow AgroSciences joins existing investors CSIRO, New Zealand Plant & Food Research, Landmark, and the Grains Research & Development Corporation (GRDC).
Under the agreement, Dow AgroSciences and HRZ will exchange wheat germplasm, and HRZ will gain access to advanced breeding services, technologies and funding to help accelerate delivery of superior wheat varieties to Australian farmers.
"Wheat breeders have not had the full benefit of the advanced breeding technologies that have been developed for use in high value row crops over the past 20 years, so the rate of increase in crop yield hasn't kept pace," says Peter Dryden, Dow AgroSciences regional commercial unit leader for Australia and New Zealand. "At Dow AgroSciences, we see wheat as an important global crop so we're excited to be providing the HRZ breeding team with access to the knowledge and tools that we've developed in working with crops like corn, cotton, canola, soybeans, and sunflowers. In essence, we hope this investment will mean better products come to the market more often—which will create value for grains industry participants."
HRZ Wheats is the youngest of Australia's main wheat breeding companies. It is expected farmers in wetter areas may transition from traditional grazing and pasture operations into cereal cropping as rainfall patterns become more variable in coming years. Dow AgroSciences is a top-tier agricultural company in the U.S., and in Australia, Dow provides innovative products for weed, disease, and insect control in many crops.