ADM makes sizable donation for wheat breeding research

by Eric Schroeder
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OVERLAND PARK, KAS. — Archer Daniels Midland Co. has made a $325,000 donation to the Kansas Wheat Commission Research Foundation (K.W.C.R.F.) to be used to strengthen the hard white wheat variety development in the Kansas State University wheat breeding program at Hays, Kas.

ADM said the investment will allow wheat breeder Guorong Zhang and his colleagues to use molecular marker and doubled haploid technologies to develop new white wheat varieties suited for the baking industry, plus offer farmers improved yield and agronomic traits. White wheat is well-suited for bread, tortillas, noodles and many other baking applications.

“ADM’s investment in wheat breeding will deliver benefits to our growers and customers through improved agronomic profiles and quality characteristics,” said Nick Weigel, vice-president of technical services for ADM Milling, a subsidiary of ADM. “The K.S.U. Agricultural Research Center in Hays supports many of our key growing areas. This funding will be used to incorporate new breeding technologies and assure the continued development and release of elite public wheat varieties.”

ADM said the funds will be paid to K.S.U. through the K.W.C.R.F. over a five-year period. This is the first research project funded by the K.W.C.R.F. since it was established in 2011.

“By incorporating advanced breeding technologies to improve the quality of our white wheat, farmers will continue to see high yield potential and excellent disease resistance in forthcoming white wheat varieties,” Mr. Zhang said. “End-users can continue to count on high-quality wheat for their customers.”

Mr. Zhang will work closely with ADM in evaluating quality characteristics and performance of yield potential of future hard wheat lines.

Justin Gilpin, chief executive officer of the K.W.C., said ADM’s support of the K.S.U. breeding program in Hays is a partnership that ensures “a bright future” for white wheat production in Kansas.

“It is vital that as K-State continues its efforts to deliver wheat genetics to farmers more quickly than ever, that those improvements include characteristics that our biggest customers need,” Mr. Gilpin said.

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