August 8, 2012
Bayer CropScience to invest in Australian wheat and oilseeds
Bayer CropScience plans to establish a new breeding centre in the Wimmera region, near Horsham (Victoria, Australia), focused on wheat and oilseeds, with an investment of around EUR 12 million (US$12.66 million).
The target is the development of new varieties with higher yields and productivity improvements tailored to Australian conditions. Bayer's breeding activities for wheat
and oilseeds in Australia will also be coordinated from the new center.
"Australia is one of the largest exporters of agricultural products and ranks as the 3rd largest exporter for wheat and the 2nd largest for oilseeds," said Dr Mathias Kremer, head of the bioScience business unit at Bayer CropScience.
"With the demand for wheat and oilseeds growing worldwide, we drive our efforts towards producing new high-yielding varieties that are better able to withstand pests, diseases and able to thrive under environmental stresses like drought."
Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional and Rural Development in Victoria, Peter Ryan, announced that the coalition government would provide AUD 1.2 million (US$1.266 million) to upgrade road access to the facility. The provision of safe all-weather access to the Longerenong site will consolidate the partnership between Bayer CropScience, Longerenong College, the Victorian Government and Horsham Rural City, which contributed AUD 100,000 (US$105,490) to the project.
Construction of the new breeding centre will commence in the coming months with first local breeding programs expected to yield results for Australian farmers within the decade.
The new breeding station contributes to Bayer CropScience's
global network of wheat and oilseeds breeding stations situated in the heart of key markets through North America and Europe, with further expansion especially for wheat planned in Asia and Latin America in the medium term.
Longerenong College operates a farm of approximately 1,070 hectares with cropping, sheep (merino and prime lambs) and beef cattle enterprises. Longerenong College is operated by Workco Ltd. Established in 1986, Workco Ltd. is the largest provider of employment and training services in the Wimmera and Grampians regions.