Bayer CropScience and KWS SAAT AG have signed an agreement to jointly develop and commercialize a new herbicide tolerant sugarbeet.
The new varieties are tolerant to herbicides in the ALS-inhibitor-class. The companies say the varities may ber available commercial in a few years.
Joint research on developing the system began in 2001. The new sugarbeet plants have a naturally occurring change in an enzyme involved in the biosynthesis of essential amino acids. During the development, sugarbeets with this spontaneously changed enzyme were specifically selected and used for further breeding. As such, these varieties are not a product of genetic modification.
"Bayer CropScience has contributed to reliable weed control in sugar beet with its regularly improved Betanal products for more than 40 years. But no fundamentally new herbicide active ingredient in sugarbeet has come onto the market for many years, unlike in crops like wheat or corn. The new system will make it possible in future to use new active ingredients in sugarbeet and control major weeds with low dose rates of product and reduced number of applications," said Christophe Dumont, responsible for the company's business strategies in soy, corn, cotton, sugarcane, sugarbeet and for the herbicides portfolio.
"KWS has been using state-of-the-art methods to breed high-yielding varieties for a sustainable agriculture for more than 150 years. With the development of these new sugar beet varieties, we continue our success of the last decades. We started work on this innovative system 11 years ago and it will finally be available for farmers in some years. The new technology will significantly improve the competitiveness of sugar beet and enable our customers to cultivate sugar beets more successfully in future," explained Peter Hofmann, Head of the Sugarbeet Division at KWS.
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 7.255 billion (2011), 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 21,000 and is represented in more than 120 countries.
KWS is one of the world's leading plant breeding companies represented in 70 countries of the world with 60 subsidiaries and affiliated companies. The product spectrum contains a broad range of varieties of sugar beet, corn, cereals, oil crops and potatoes. KWS conducted business for more than 150 years in an independent and sustainable manner. Net sales in the year 2010/11 amounted to EUR 855 million, about 75% was generated outside Germany. Currently, about 3,800 employees work for the KWS Group worldwide. KWS invests approx. 15% of its annual sales in research and development each year. KWS uses state-of-the-art plant breeding methods to increase yields and further enhance resistances to diseases, pests and abiotic stress factors. More information is available at www.kws.com.
Source: BayerCrop Science