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Winter cereals sustainability in action gives winter wheat a boost with a $475,000 investment in science

Lethbridge, Alta., Thursday, July 26, 2012 — Ducks Unlimited Canada (DUC) and Bayer CropScience announced today an additional $475,000 investment in Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s (AAFC) winter wheat research program based at the AAFC Lethbridge Research Centre. The funds will be used to purchase equipment required to increase the program’s capacity for molecular marker screening.

The new equipment should significantly speed up the development of new winter wheat varieties for use on the Prairies, as test plants will no longer need to be brought to maturity to determine if desired genes and traits are present. This will reduce both the time and resources required to make new varieties available to producers.

“This is good news for wheat growers,” says Paul Thoroughgood, DUC regional agrologist. “With the recent changes to marketing in Western Canada, farmers are looking more and more to higher yielding classes of wheat, like winter wheat, to improve their productivity per acre. This investment helps ensure that the science is keeping up with that increasing demand.”

“Bayer remains committed to the concept of sustainable agriculture,” says Paul Thiel, vice president of innovation and public affairs at Bayer. “We see winter wheat as an important part of that equation, both for its potential to increase profitability for producers, as well as its ability to help preserve many of the natural assets we value so much on the Canadian prairies.”

The Winter Cereals Sustainability in Action program was established in 2009 to promote the growing of winter wheat in Western Canada for both sustainability and conservation reasons. Farmers who grow winter wheat enjoy many benefits including higher yields, as well as more efficient use of crop input products. Winter wheat fields provide significantly more productive habitat for many prairie wildlife species, such as waterfowl that are 24 times more productive nesting in winter wheat than in spring sown varieties.

More information on the benefits of winter wheat can be found at growwinterwheat.ca.

The shared vision of Ducks Unlimited Canada and Bayer CropScience for the future of agriculture includes a stewardship model that recognizes the agricultural productivity of farmland, while retaining and improving the habitat available to North America’s waterfowl and other wildlife. As a result, Bayer and DUC have joined together to identify, research and promote cropping system changes that benefit the conservation of our natural resources in an economically viable way. The first step in this relationship is the Winter Cereals: Sustainability in Action project. For more information visit growwinterwheat.ca.

Further information on Bayer CropScience Canada is available at: www.bayercropscience.ca.

For more information, please contact:

Amy Doerksen
a_doerksen@ducks.ca
Manager, National Communications and Marketing
Ducks Unlimited Canada

Ducks Unlimited Canada (DUC) is the leader in wetland conservation. A registered charity, DUC partners with government, industry, other non-profit organizations and landowners to conserve wetlands that are critical to waterfowl, wildlife and the environment. Learn more at ducks.ca.

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 7,255 million in 2011, is one of the world’s leading innovative crop science companies in the areas of crop protection, non-agricultural pest control, seeds and plant biotechnology. 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 about 21,000 and is represented in more than 120 countries.

Further information on Bayer CropScience Canada is available at: www.bayercropscience.ca.