Elders grows innovation with the launch of R&D program

Elders have announced the official launch of their hallmark research and development program, Elders Plant Genetics, in collaboration with research company Edstar Genetics.

Elders Plant Genetics is focused on improving productivity in Australian agriculture by developing new seed varieties that overcome the limitations and weaknesses of current breeds on the market.

Breeding genetic material is a long and intensive process with some barley and wheat varieties going through a development stage of over twelve years.

Despite this, Elders’ national technical services manager Graham Page, says that the investment is well worth it.

“It’s a long process but one with the potential to add significant value to our clients’ farming operations,” says Mr. Page.

“We now have four commercialised barley and wheat varieties – Maltstar, Alestar, TenFour, and Tungsten – each providing significant advantages above other products on the market,” he says.

“By listening to our customers’ needs in the development stage, we’ve been able to tailor these varieties accordingly – whether the demand be for greater yield, pest and disease resistance, or tailoring to specific conditions.”

“It really boils down to being able to offer our client a complete premium service – a grain that suits their needs and a high level of ongoing support and advice to get the best out of each crop.”

Mr. Page says that collaboration has played a huge role in the success of the program so far.

“We are fortunate to have partnered with Edstar Genetics who supply years of expertise and a wealth of knowledge on genetic breeding through Dr. Ian Edwards,” says Mr. Page.

“We have also collaborated with Murdoch University in Western Australia, the DPI in Victoria, and Cobbitty University in NSW in addition to our clients in an extensive review process to ensure that varieties are performing as designed.”

Elders chief executive office Mark Allison says the program is a key example of the business’ continuous efforts towards being leaders in farming innovation.

“Ensuring we are at the forefront of technological advances in farming is an important element of our offering for clients,” says Mr. Allison.

“It is our responsibility to leverage new technologies and make them accessible for our clients so they can reap the benefits. Our long term commitment in the plant genetics program is just one example of this,” he says.

“Providing premium innovative solutions that add value is key to ensuring we maintain the lead role in agronomic excellence and ultimately increase productivity in Australian agriculture.”

Read more here.

Watch an introduction to the program below.