Bayer AG is Purchase strawberry assets The acquisition is from a UK-based plant science research company expanding its fruit and vegetable business.
Kent’s National Agricultural and Plant Research Institute’s strawberry breeding program will enable Bayer’s crop science division to develop a wider range of genetics and crop protection solutions for specialist growers, the biotech giant announced last week. .
Bayer plans to make its innovation available outside the UK to meet the soaring global demand for strawberries. The acquisition is expected to be completed by early 2024, but financial details were not disclosed.
Strawberries account for nearly a quarter of fresh fruit sales, and Bayer AG is moving into the market as growers experiment with ways to grow them year-round.
“With Bayer’s entry into the strawberry market, we offer growers premium genetics combined with innovative agrochemical products and digital solutions,” Inch Dannenberg, head of Bayer’s vegetable business, said in a statement. “Adding strawberries to Bayer’s portfolio is a natural progression for many of our customers as well.”
Strawberries are fast growing cropsIt will bear fruit in about 3 months after planting.to meet Demand for “out of season” strawberries increasesAccording to the UK Department for Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs, producers are working to extend the spring and autumn production and marketing periods.
An alternative to traditional outdoor row systems is to grow strawberries protected in a greenhouse or polytunnel using peat bags. According to the UK Agriculture Office, this method can reduce the risk of soil-borne diseases and water use, but can also be expensive and cumbersome.
Bayer said moving to protected crops gives growers more control over the environment, crop management, pests and diseases, resulting in clear benefits for fruit quality. Because plants grown under protection are closer to consumers, they use less water and tend to have a longer shelf life.
“We have built a strong foundation of precision breeding capabilities and are looking forward to bringing these approaches to strawberries,” J.D. Rossu, head of vegetable research and development for Bayer’s crop science division, said in a statement. said. “Using these technologies, we will be able to further advance the foundations set by NIAB and provide superior strawberries to growers and the value chain.”
NIAB’s strawberry breeding program has operated for more than 40 years at East Malling Research Station in Kent and has long been known for its horticultural innovation.