Wheat quality was the topic of summit
“We’re not necessarily getting paid for quality—we’re getting paid for yield,” Tallman said. “It’s great to see the investment and commitment to wheat because we want a marketable crop. But we also need one that is profitable to grow.”
One of the core challenges to breeding is that protein levels and yield potential often run counter to each other. When protein levels are high, yield potential ends up lower—and vice versa.
“It’s a tough balancing act, as not all genes are created equal,” Sears explained. “We will not release a variety that doesn’t have at least average quality performance, so what we are doing now is looking at how certain lines respond to certain crop protection chemistries that may enhance yield or quality for growers.
“We likely will start seeing certain varieties that will have specific crop protection product and management recommendations,” he added.
Links in the chain
Syngenta is well-equipped to link the needs of an end user to growers, as is evidenced in several programs it has developed in the U.S. and overseas.
Simon Phillips, Syngenta North American business development manager for cereals genetics, attributed much of the success with these programs to collaborative relationships based on open, constructive dialogue.
“In Italy, we developed a program so growers could profitably grow high-quality durum and become a reliable source of more of the country’s durum,” Phillips said. “We’ve used similar concepts in our hybrid barley program in Europe and for a sustainable production program in the U.S. Pacific Northwest.”
With the company’s significant global investment in research and development (R&D) dedicated solely to cereals, Syngenta is poised to bridge the gap between grower and end user needs.
“At Syngenta, we are strongly committed to transforming cereals production worldwide,” said Norm Dreger, head of North American cereals for Syngenta. “This transformation, however, won’t come about as the result of one group’s work – it’ll be a team effort. We’re all links in the value chain, so we really need to stack hands and agree on priorities.”
In addition to its R&D focus, Syngenta supports a number of innovative industry programs. For example, it is sponsoring the Kansas Wheat Innovation Center “Speak for Wheat” Test Kitchen, a high-tech space that will provide facilities for testing hundreds of new and existing wheat recipes developed by the Kansas Wheat Commission.
"Through partnerships built on commitment, collaboration and communication, we can help realize wheat’s full potential,” Dreger said. “Together, everyone—from the breeder to the grower to the miller to the baker to the consumer—will benefit.”
For more information, visit http://www.cereals.farmassist.com/.