In today’s current farming climate, wheat farmers are being forced to perform under unbelievable pressures. Diseases, the increasing population, and persisting drought conditions are all impacting yields and market stability. BASF, a world leader in precision agriculture, has been astutely aware of these industry challenges, and for some time now, they have been dedicated to working on a solution.
During the first week of June, BASF announced Ideltis, their new brand of hybrid wheat. This industry revolutionizing option for wheat growers is still in the research and development stage, but is on track for a worldwide release sometime in the mid-2020s.
“We think this is really a game-changer for current wheat farmers and it’s going to offer valid alternatives in their growing season,” said Gustavo Gonzalez, Global Wheat Crop Strategy Lead – Seeds and Traits for BASF.
Wheat is late at entering the hybridization game, especially when compared to crops like corn and rice, which first became hybridized in the 1930s and 1970s, respectively. Hybridizing wheat has finally become a possibility because scientists have recently been able to map a complete genome set of wheat.
Currently, BASF is focusing on releasing a hard red spring and hard red winter wheat variety in the U.S. and Europe. More importantly, the company has region specific R&D breeding stations that are working on developing cultivars that will thrive in those specific areas.
With the advantage of combing beneficial traits from two distinct parents, hybrids really do advance their species. Ideltis will offer growers increased disease resistance and tolerance, more consistent and desired protein levels, as well as value-added traits that can help producers stay in step with the ever-changing and demanding market.
Overall, Gonzalez says, the name of the game with Ideltis is more stable yields and increased profitability for growers. He is quick to point out, this is just the beginning. In the future of hybrid wheat, he says it will become entirely possible to integrate more quality traits, as well as agronomic traits.
“We are just at the tipping stage of this and we are quite excited about it. We are looking forward to bringing innovation to farmers,” Gonzalez added.
Continuing, Gonzalez said BASF is dedicated to the long-term journey of hybrid wheat. Despite being one of the world’s most important crops, wheat has not always gotten the scientific attention it deserves. Ideltis has the potential to change the entire wheat industry from the grower all the way to the consumer.
“Wheat is a critical global food product and with the growing trends of populations worldwide, there will be significant pressure on wheat. With the U.S. being a major exporter, this plays very importantly from that aspect, as well,” Gonzalez concluded.
The future of agriculture looks bright and with the help of technology and cutting-edge innovation, farmers will be able to continue being the best they can be at the ever important job of feeding the world.
Anyone interested in learning more about Ideltis is encouraged to visit ideltis.com. As plant researchers and breeders continue to perfect this first-of-its-kind commercial hybrid wheat brand, updates will be posted on the website.