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Expansion of Global Breeding Excellence Bayer CropScience to Invest EUR 12 Million in Australian Breeding Center

Author / Editor: Benedikt Stahl / Wolfgang Ernhofer

Bayer CropScience plans to establish a new breeding center in the Wimmera region, near Horsham (Victoria, Australia), focused on wheat and oilseeds. The company plans to invest around EUR 12 million (AUD 14 million) for the new station in Western Victoria. The target is the development of new varieties with higher yields and productivity improvements tailored to Australian conditions.

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Modern plant breeding: using fully automated genetic analyses and molecular markers, researchers examine samples from several thousand plants a day
Modern plant breeding: using fully automated genetic analyses and molecular markers, researchers examine samples from several thousand plants a day
(Picture: Bayer CropScience)

Monheim/Germany – Bayer’s breeding activities for wheat and oilseeds in Australia will also be coordinated from the new center. A long term rental agreement for land on which to build the laboratory and glasshouse facilities have been agreed with Longerenong College and Workco. Up to 20 full-time employees will work at the center in the future.

Governmental Supply

Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional and Rural Development in Victoria, Peter Ryan, announced that the Coalition Government would provide AUD 1.2 million to upgrade road access to the facility. The provision of safe all-weather access to the Longerenong site will consolidate the partnership between Bayer CropScience, Longerenong College, the Victorian Government and Horsham Rural City, which contributed AUD 100,000 to the project.

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Construction of the new breeding center will commence in the coming months with first local breeding programs expected to yield results for Australian farmers within the decade.

Global Network of Breeding Stations to Develop Solutions Adapted to Local Needs

The new breeding station contributes to Bayer CropScience's global network of wheat and oilseeds breeding stations situated in the heart of key markets through North America and Europe, with further expansion especially for wheat planned in Asia and Latin America in the medium term.

In addition to extending its breeding excellence, Bayer CropScience is also proud of its network of alliances with leading international research institutions, especially CSIRO in Australia and Evogene in Israel. These partnerships accelerate the ability to develop new varieties by applying the latest advancements in plant biotechnology to research and breeding in Bayer CropScience´s key crops.

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