Fit for the Future

The consequences of climate change and the need to ensure food safety for a quickly increasing world population both call for a solution from plant breeding. In order to be able to come up with such solutions as timely as possible and to keep up with most recent developments, plant breeders make above-average investments into the research and development of cutting-edge plant varieties. The plant breeding industry on average invests more than 15% of its turnover into research and development, which compares well with other advanced technologies. Plant breeders also created a network of trial and breeding sites across Europe and sometimes also in other continents of the world.

The partners of German Seed Alliance also co-operate very closely in other research issues. This co-operation is intended to create synergies that will help speed up the process of developing high-quality plant varieties optimized for the respective target cultivation areas, to the benefit of their customers.

It is crucial for the companies that their researchers think ahead on a long-term scale. Quick results cannot be expected in this branch, since they usually emerge only after many years of work. Researchers need to be able to determine and describe what the demand of agriculture and of the population will be in ten or twenty years from now.

The staff of GSA and of its shareholding companies regularly exchange ideas on their research activities and co-ordinate them. They use methods for identifying the plant genome as a basis for their subsequent breeding activities. They also develop modern techniques for evaluating the phenotype of the offspring plants. It all comes down to finding the best combination between the plant genetics and the environmental conditions of the cultivation area. The research is centralised, the breeding is local.