Bayer opens wheat breeding station in France
Bayer CropScience has opened a wheat breeding station in France at Milly-la-Forêt, near Paris. The site comprises 77 ha of cropland and a further 110 ha in leased property, as well as a greenhouse and a plant laboratory. The station employs 17 people and, during seasonal peaks, up to 40 temporary staff. The site was purchased from the French seed company, RAGT Semences, in September last year (Agrow No 648, p 2). Bayer will be investing in excess of €7 million ($9.3 million) over three years at the site to double the capacity of the laboratory and greenhouse. The breeding programme at the station is focused on improving yields, water-use efficiency, heat tolerance and resistance to fungal diseases. The first commercial varieties from the programme are expected by the end of the decade. The centre is part of Bayer's growing global network of wheat breeding stations stretching across Australia, Canada, Germany, Ukraine and the US.