Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Bayer CropScience signs collaboration with the University of Nebraska to improve wheat breeding

First North American wheat breeding station for Bayer to be established in Nebraska

Monheim, Germany, and Lincoln Nebraska, USA, December 15, 2010 – Bayer CropScience AG (Bayer) and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) have signed a non-exclusive agreement to improve wheat breeding and generate new wheat varieties. This mutually beneficial public-private collaborative agreement will allow both parties to enrich their respective wheat breeding programs, provide innovation to wheat growers and ensure resources for advanced education in the field of wheat agronomy. Financial details were not disclosed.

This agreement provides Bayer with access to UNL’s outstanding wheat germplasm. Subsequently, Bayer will establish its first North American wheat breeding station near Lincoln, Nebraska, USA. The company will also contribute to the improvement of wheat cultivation through research and education initiatives in the state. Further support for Nebraska wheat growers will include their involvement in local seed production activities for Bayer.

For UNL, the agreement will support the University’s efforts in wheat breeding and education. An endowed Presidential chair will be created at the University of Nebraska Foundation for the benefit of the University’s cereal breeding faculty. Scholarships and/or fellowships will be offered for the benefit of students pursuing cereal grains studies. Furthermore, research and development of improved cereals will be supported by an Agricultural Research Division Crop Innovation Fund. Both parties are free to form additional collaborative arrangements with other public or private entities.

“We recognize the expertise that has gone into developing UNL’s breeding program and the opportunities this agreement gives both partners to strengthen their activities in improving wheat. This agreement represents another important step for Bayer in achieving its goal to offer innovative solutions from seed to harvest for sustainable cereal production”, said Dr. Joachim Schneider, Head of the BioScience Business Group at Bayer CropScience. “Undoubtedly, this partnership will result in exciting advances in wheat productivity by both parties that will benefit farmers and the grain trade worldwide”, he said.

“We are excited about the current opportunities this agreement establishes for the wheat growers in Nebraska and the future impact our partnership will have on the wheat industry in Nebraska and globally”, said UNL Vice President Dr. Ronald D. Green. “The agreement between UNL and Bayer enables UNL to continue releasing improved wheat varieties through the same channels as in the past. Agreements of this type benefit the Nebraska wheat growers because they will have a greater selection of improved varieties from both public and private wheat breeding programs”, said Dr. Green, who also serves as the Harlan Vice Chancellor for the Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources at the UNL.

Key figures about wheat:
Approximately 25 percent of global agricultural land is utilized for wheat cultivation, making wheat the largest food crop worldwide in terms of area. Wheat is the second most-produced cereal crop after corn with more than 650 million tons produced every year. Wheat productivity is increasing at less than 1 percent annually, while the annual productivity increase required only to meet population growth is approximately double that percentage. Main wheat producing regions are Australia, the Black Sea Region, China, the European Union, India and North America.

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About Bayer CropScience
Bayer is a global enterprise with core competencies in the fields of health care, nutrition and high-tech materials. Bayer CropScience AG, a subsidiary of Bayer AG with annual sales of about EUR 6.5 billion (2009), is one of the world’s leading innovative crop science companies in the areas of crop protection, non-agricultural pest control, seeds and traits. The company offers an outstanding range of products and extensive service backup for modern, sustainable agriculture and for non-agricultural applications. Bayer CropScience has a global workforce of 18,700 and is represented in more than 120 countries. This and further news is available at: www.press.bayercropscience.com.

About University of Nebraska-Lincoln
The University of Nebraska–Lincoln, chartered in 1869, is an educational institution of international stature. Always a place of high ambition, this was one of the first institutions west of the Mississippi River to award doctoral degrees — the first was granted, in physics, in 1896. The discipline of ecology was born here, and the campuses reflect that tradition, being recognized as botanical gardens and arboreta. Today, the University of Nebraska–Lincoln is one of the nation's leading agricultural institutions, and a research leader with a presence across the state leveraging 40,000 acres and related resources to benefit Nebraska and the world. For additional information, please visit UNLs website at www.unl.edu or www.nutechventures.org.

Forward-Looking Statements
This release may contain forward-looking statements based on current assumptions and forecasts made by Bayer Group or subgroup management. Various known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors could lead to material differences between the actual future results, financial situation, development or performance of the company and the estimates given here. These factors include those discussed in Bayer’s public reports which are available on the Bayer website at www.bayer.com. The company assumes no liability whatsoever to update these forward-looking statements or to conform them to future events or developments.

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