The hybrid wheat, which incorporates positive traits from two parent plants, comes after severe weather cut grain harvests and the Ukraine war disrupted cargoes to hungry importers, dispatching prices to record highs this spring.
Syngenta, which started working on hybrid wheat in 2010, told Reuters enough seeds would be on the market next year for U.S. farmers to plant approximately 5,000 to 7,000 acres.
Though a small fraction of the nation’s plantings, the earlier unreported total symbolizes the company’s largest-ever release of hybrid wheat. It could open the door for bigger seedlings in 2024 and beyond, as war and climate change make the world’s food supplies increasingly weak.
Farmers of corn and other crops like barley have long profited from hybrid seeds boosting yields. Researchers stated that the road to market had been extra slow for wheat because the development process was more costly and complex. Companies noticed the inferior potential for returns.
The Advantages of The New Crop Still Need to Be Resolved
Three independent seed companies that delivered hybrid wheat this year under arrangements with Syngenta informed Reuters they were still deciding if the crop would deliver game-changing results for growers. They counted that it would take longer to resolve how to produce the best seeds cost-effectively.
Syngenta’s French unit notified Reuters that the company delayed launching a similar type of wheat tested in France following disappointing results. The company stated that the U.S. and French hybrids are for local growing conditions, including threats from plant diseases and the need to complete quality standards for milling and baking.