Australian grain growers will soon have access to the benefits of new world-leading plant technologies through AWB’s cereal breeding joint venture with Syngenta, known as LongReach Plant Breeders.
AWB Limited Grain Technology General Manager Andrew McConville, who recently returned from a trip to Europe to meet Syngenta officials, said LongReach would open doors for the Australian grains industry to a global network of plant breeding and crop protection technology.
“AWB and Syngenta announced earlier this year the formation of LongReach, to breed and develop innovative and competitive wheat varieties for the Australian market,” Mr McConville said.
“This pipeline of varieties will have the benefit of Syngenta’s cutting edge research efforts, as well as AWB’s knowledge of production requirements and understanding of market and customer needs,” he said.
Mr McConville said work by Syngeta’s wheat research team in the United Kingdom on traits such as disease resistance and yield offer Australian growers significant agronomic and bottom line benefits.
“Furthermore, the Syngenta genomics arm at Norwich were the key players in the mapping of the rice genome – announced earlier this year – and they are now turning their attention to applying that technology to wheat,” Mr McConville said.
“Going forward this could mean rapid identification of specific wheat characteristics such as water use efficiency, as well as quality and end product traits.
“Through LongReach Australian growers have access to these sort of developments, as well as the wealth of experience and intelligence Syngenta has in crop protection, and the potential this has for development of complete agronomic packages for grain growers.
“Considering the potential, AWB is very excited about this relationship, and the benefits LongReach Plant Breeders can offer wheat growers in the future,” he said.
Mr McConville also attended the International Cereal Chemists Association Conference in Hungary, where AWB Grain Development Manager Richard Williams delivered a presentation on AWB’s crop shaping and varietal classification process.
“At the conference AWB was identified as a world leader in terms of developing varieties and shaping the national wheat crop in order to meet the needs of its international customers,” Mr McConville said.
“That ability to pass back the customer requirements and instill those traits into the national crop was recognised as a significant benefit of the single desk marketing system we have in place,” Mr McConville said.