BASF, in conjunction with its commercial partner Seednet, will launch its first BASF-bred wheat seed, Ascot, onto the Australian market in 2021.
Selected for its yield, quality, and agronomic adaptability, Ascot is the first in a series of wheat varieties to be commercialised by BASF nationally.
This innovation is the result of almost a decade of research at BASF’s Wheat and Oilseed Breeding Centre in Longerenong, Victoria.
“We see the development of new varieties as the key to increasing productivity,” BASF seeds and traits business head Asia Pacific, Rob Hall, said.
“Ascot will be the first release from our wheat breeding program and is the result of our investment in research at Longerenong. We look forward to producing a range of exciting wheat varieties in the next few years.”
Ascot has shown excellent yield potential during development and is produced for BASF and Seednet by Australian Grain and Forage (AGF) Seeds in the Central Highlands of Victoria.
Growing exceptionally well in the region, Ascot will be suited to farmers with similar growing conditions, in the recommended growing area, covering eastern South Australia, central Victoria and southern New South Wales, for the 2021 season.
Each Australian BASF wheat variety will be named in honour of a local industry pioneer.
Ascot was named after James Fry, a gold rush miner who switched to growing and milling wheat in the 1850s.
At Fry’s Ascot Mill, located only a few kilometres from where the BASF seeds are cultivated, he experimented with new varieties to increase the viability of wheat crops for the region.
“We think it’s very appropriate to acknowledge early innovators in this way. We want to recognize that everyone who is working to move local agriculture forward today, is building on the work of previous generations – people who had a vision of what could be achieved through a combination of boldness, imagination and sheer persistence,” Mr Hall said.
BASF is already well established as an Australian breeder of canola seed, with several ground-breaking hybrid varieties with innovative traits such as PodGuard® and TruFlex® under the InVigor® brand.
Ascot wheat seed will be available to growers for the 2021 winter cropping season.
Source: BASF, www.crop-solutions.basf.com.au