Bayer CropScience has announcedthat it has commenced testing wheat varieties in the UK for the first time.
UK Seeds Manager, Adrian Cottey, said: At Cereals2014, we announced our intention to be a wheat seeds company in the UK,building on our successful entry into the oilseed rape variety market two yearsago. I can confirm that we have been drilling winter wheat lines at a site inBalsham near Cambridge.
Working with Thurlow Estate Farms, it isanticipated that over 2000 winter wheat lines will be tested in the first year,with plans to expand this significantly in 2015. In addition disease nurseriestargeting Septoria and yellow rust have been planted for UK robustnessand in support of Bayers EU breeding programme. Regional test sites have alsobeen drilled for the near-market varieties in Suffolk, Oxfordshire,Northamptonshire, Lincolnshire and Fife in Scotland, as well as at Bayersresearch farm, at Great Chishill near Cambridge.
Adrian explains Bayers objectives in thisarea: For Bayer, this is a twin approach. In the short term we are looking forhigh performing winter wheat varieties as potential National Listcandidates for trials from 2015/2016 but we also have a longer term objectiveof identifying future parents for our hybrid wheat breeding programme. For bothobjectives, I am delighted to confirm that as we start this new programme, andto give added UK focus alongside our EU breeding team, we are working withwell-known breeding consultant Bill Angus.