Dow AgroSciences steps up crop innovation initiatives

by Eric Schroeder
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INDIANAPOLIS — Less than a month after wheat industry groups in the United States, Canada and Australia announced they would work toward the objective of "synchronized commercialization of biotech traits in the wheat crop," Indianapolis-based Dow AgroSciences L.L.C. has unveiled two initiatives that promise to step up its work in the areas of crop innovation, including for wheat.

On June 2, Dow AgroSciences and World Wide Wheat L.L.C. (W3) said they have agreed to collaborate on the development and commercialization of advanced germplasm and traits in wheat. The collaborative effort will combine Dow AgroSciences’ expertise in seeds and traits with Phoenix-based W3’s proprietary wheat germplasm and robust breeding capabilities.

"We are very pleased to be working with W3, an industry leader in wheat breeding, to launch a portfolio of new products in the new future," said Jerome Peribere, president and chief executive officer of Dow AgroSciences. "This collaboration will build upon our current seed portfolio by expanding into wheat — a very important global crop that supplies a significant amount of the daily nutrition in human diets."

Sheldon Richardson, chairman and c.e.o. of W3, said the partnership with Dow AgroSciences will enable the companies "to leverage customer relationships within the food chain and their marketing and commercialization expertise."

"Our four decades of plant breeding experience brings a wide diversity of germplasm offering of high yielding varieties developed for markets around the world," he said. World Wide Wheat is a privately-owned plant breeding company that operates research stations in 18 countries, producing superior varieties of cereal grains that are not genetically modified.

The partnership with W3 marks the second major collaborative effort on crop innovation undertaken by Dow AgroSciences in as many weeks. On May 19, the company agreed to a research partnership with the Victorian Department of Primary Industries (D.P.I.) in Australia to develop new plant traits and plant varieties for Victorian and international farmers. The agreement is the largest international agricultural biotechnology alliance undertaken by the Victorian government to date.

"Victoria is clearly establishing itself as a global leader in agricultural biotechnology and Dow AgroSciences is pleased to set up this unique collaboration with DPI’s capabilities based at the Victorian AgriBiosciences Centre, in which technologies and scientific expertise will be shared to deliver plant-based solutions that contribute to improving the quality of life for the world’s growing population," said Daniel R. Kittle, Ph.D., vice-president of research and development at Dow AgroSciences.

He continued, "One of the key crops will include canola, which is the third largest crop in Australia, and will further enhance Dow AgroSciences’ Omega-9 canola oil platform. Other crops targeted in this large-scale research partnership between DPI and Dow AgroSciences will include traits for corn and wheat as well as bioenergy crops."

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