Bayer CropScience opens wheat breeding station near Paris
Guest speaker Catherine Feuillet, currently the Research Director at the national French agricultural research institution INRA and coordinator of the BreedWheat Consortium, gave an insight into the genomics revolution and its contribution to wheat improvement. She described the complexities around wheat improvement, the challenging structure of the wheat genome and the integrated toolbox that can lead to improved germplasm: "Although we have had tremendous progress in genomics, there are still areas such as high throughput phenotyping in the field that need to be supported if we want to capture the benefits of having access to the new resources and knowledge coming from the wheat genome sequence. However, wheat is well on its way to catching up with other crops through efforts in genomics through the past years."
Wheat is the world's most widely grown crop
About 25 percent of the world's arable land is planted with wheat, making it the most widely grown crop and one of the world's most important staple foods. Wheat ranks second behind corn in terms of cereals production, with more than 650 million tons grown yearly. Wheat productivity is growing at a rate of less than one percent annually, while the global demand is increasing twice as fast. The main wheat-producing regions are the EU, China, North America, Russia and Australia. France is the leading wheat producer in Europe.
Bayer CropScience is the global market and innovation leader in crop protection products for cereals and is pursuing long-term investments in sustainable cereals production. The company aims to become the partner of choice to wheat growers and the wheat industry be offering superior solutions from seed to shelf - including seeds, traits, crop protection products and services.