Bayer, UNL Form Wheat Breeding Collaboration

Bayer CropScience AG (Bayer) and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) have signed a non-exclusive agreement to improve wheat breeding and generate new wheat varieties. This mutually beneficial public-private collaborative agreement will allow both parties to enrich their respective wheat breeding programs, provide innovation to wheat growers and ensure resources for advanced education in the field of wheat agronomy. Financial details were not disclosed.

This agreement provides Bayer with access to UNL’s outstanding wheat germplasm. Subsequently, Bayer will establish its first North American wheat breeding station near Lincoln, NE. The company will also contribute to the improvement of wheat cultivation through research and education initiatives in the state. Further support for Nebraska wheat growers will include their involvement in local seed production activities for Bayer.

For UNL, the agreement will support the University’s efforts in wheat breeding and education. An endowed Presidential chair will be created at the University of Nebraska Foundation for the benefit of the University’s cereal breeding faculty. Scholarships and/or fellowships will be offered for the benefit of students pursuing cereal grains studies. Furthermore, research and development of improved cereals will be supported by an Agricultural Research Division Crop Innovation Fund. Both parties are free to form additional collaborative arrangements with other public or private entities.

“We recognize the expertise that has gone into developing UNL’s breeding program and the opportunities this agreement gives both partners to strengthen their activities in improving wheat,” says Joachim Schneider, Head of the BioScience Business Group at Bayer CropScience. “This agreement represents another important step for Bayer in achieving its goal to offer innovative solutions from seed to harvest for sustainable cereal production.”

“We are excited about the current opportunities this agreement establishes for the wheat growers in Nebraska and the future impact our partnership will have on the wheat industry in Nebraska and globally”, says UNL vice president Ronald D. Green. “The agreement between UNL and Bayer enables UNL to continue releasing improved wheat varieties through the same channels as in the past.”

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