Several years of precise selection and dedicated work are needed until a new cultivar is commercialized. High capital investments are required for research and development during this time. Cultivar development is characterized by distinct phases:
Establishment of genetic variation: Genetic variation is the basis of our breeding program. We have conducted collection campaigns worldwide and have acquired an excellent base germplasm that contains genetic variation for all economically important traits. Our breeders are creating new variants by recombination of genotypes with better traits that lead to better cultivars.
Field testing and selection: The new variants created by recombination and segregation are then subjected to an intensive selection process. Experimental cultivars are tested at different sites across years to assess their agronomic performance. Our global trial network comprises a wide range of climate, soil and agronomic management conditions. Therefore, we can precisely assess the yield potential of our cultivars, adjust their agronomic management and provide the necessary support to our customers to secure the profitability of their business.
Seed production of new cultivars: Seeds are produced in our own facilities and the process is under the detailed care of our field professionals. We apply optimized agronomic management in our seed production fields. Following careful hand-harvesting, seeds are dried and stored under optimal conditions to preserve seed quality before we deploy the seeds to our customers.