Varieties matched to cultivations
In the future, we could have varieties less reliant on specific seedbed conditions with the real possibility of seed optimised for zero and minimum tillage operations, she says.
“Our fundamental belief is that genetics can respond to the demands of the years ahead in a way not seen before and KWS will be at the spearhead of this revolution, developing varieties that not only carry our hallmark yield and quality advantages, but that add a whole new range of functionality too.”
As well as developing varieties that facilitate better soil management, KWS is also putting a priority on those that help growers maximise production and profitability from their existing resources, she points out.
“Achieving as much yield as possible from land and resources is an important objective for all growers in the future. Whilst KWS varieties are already top performers with respect to this, it will remain a key breeding priority in the future.
“An increasing focus will be the development of varieties that allow individual growers to make full use of their soil type, growing conditions and location to markets.
Other drivers include focusing on helping growers achieve effective crop management with reduced windows of opportunity as a result of climate change and achieving optimum crop health without a high level of agronomic interventions, Kirsty Richards explains.
“More variable growing conditions put more abiotic stress on growing plants as well as often producing the type of weather conditions and micro-climates that encourage the development of yield-sapping diseases.
“Breeding varieties with high levels of resistance to the most damaging diseases has been a key KWS aim for many years and our current portfolio is strong proof of this with some of the highest scores for resistance to Septoria, Mildew and Rusts on the RL.
“This line of development will continue with a focus on new varieties that need less agronomic intervention, cost less to produce and deliver higher returns, too.”