BASF’s first entry into wheat seed will offer Australian growers increased yield and productivity
New varieties mark significant research milestone for Longerenong Breeding Centre in Victoria
BASF plans to launch its first new wheat seed varieties that help Australian farmers improve yield and productivity. The varieties are main season spring wheats, targeting the high-quality class, and will be suitable for NSW and Victorian growers. BASF will work with Seednet as the commercial partner to license the new varieties currently on track for launch to Australian growers in 2021.
“These are the first wheat varieties to be commercialized by BASF globally and are selected for their yield, quality and agronomic adaptability. They are a culmination of around nine years of research at BASF’s Wheat and Oilseed Breeding Centre in Longerenong, Victoria. Our Australian team is proud to be deeply involved in this global innovation program,” said Gavin Jackson, Head of Agricultural Solutions at BASF Australia and New Zealand.
“We started investing in our breeding program in 2010 and opened our facility in Longerenong in 2014. Over this reasonably short period of time, we have developed a pipeline of new wheat varieties that have potential for Australian growers. This is a huge testament to the dedication of our local team and their passion and commitment for bringing new and innovations to our local growers,” said Rob Hall, Head of Seeds at BASF Australia and New Zealand.
In addition to wheat, the breeding centre is also heavily involved in the breeding and development of novel new canola Invigor® hybrid varieties. In 2020, BASF will also launch Invigor 4022 to the Australian market, a new TruFlex® variety of canola which features the unique yield benefits of PodGuard® pod shatter tolerance to give added flexibility on weeds and also harvest timing.
“What better place than the Wimmera for us to invest in our wheat and canola research. Cropping is so important to this region and the soil is some of the best in Australia,” added Hall.
“Australian growers are early adopters of sustainability, innovation and technology and this contributes to our view to see Australia as a great place to invest,” said Gustavo Palerosi Carnerio, Senior Vice President Asia Pacific, Agricultural Solutions, BASF.
BASF has around 25 new crop protection products to launch in Australia over the next five years, with 13 of these targeted for launch by the end of 2020.
“BASF has an exciting pipeline of crop protection innovations launching in Australia. We expect to receive registration of the pre-emergent herbicide Luximax® in 2019, a new mode of action that offers residual control of ryegrass. This product will be a significant tool for Australian growers,” said Jackson. “2020 is going to be a big year for BASF and the Australian agriculture industry.”
The announcement was made in the presence of local growers and industry stakeholders at BASF’s Wheat and Oilseed Breeding Centre, which is located on the grounds of Longerenong Agricultural College. At the same time, BASF also announced Agribusiness student Katherine McNeilly as the recipient of the 2019 BASF Longerenong Agricultural College Scholarship.
“This scholarship will give me the opportunity to fulfil my dream of working in the growing Australian Agricultural Industry and I look forward to also gaining work experience with BASF during this time,” said Katherine McNeilly.