Monsanto Co. has purchased a wheat germplasm company as its moves into the wheat market.
Monsanto is expanding its strong seeds and traits portfolio to include wheat. The company has acquired the assets of WestBred, LLC, a Montana-based company that specializes in wheat germplasm, the crop’s seed genetic material. The investment will bolster the future growth of Monsanto’s seeds and traits platform and allow growers to benefit from the company’s experience in drought-, disease- and pest-tolerance innovations.
“The U.S. wheat industry has come together to call for new technology investment, and we believe we have game-changing technologies — like our drought-tolerance and improved-yield traits — that can meaningfully address major challenges wheat growers face every season,” says Carl Casale, executive vice president of global strategy and operations for Monsanto. “Through WestBred, we’ll be able to deliver advances in breeding and biotechnology to deliver a step-change in yield while creating a springboard for new partnerships and collaboration opportunities that create additional value for farmers.”
WestBred, owned indirectly by Barkley Seed, Inc., is a premier private wheat germplasm company in the U.S., with germplasm assets in all classes of wheat. WestBred’s existing breeding capabilities and commercial operations will become the centerpiece of Monsanto’s wheat platform. In addition, Monsanto will seek public and private partnerships that can help deliver on the promise of technology improvements in wheat for growers.