Australia’s largest plant breeding company, Australian Grain Technologies (AGT), has secured land ideal for its plant breeding operations with the purchase of 105 hectares near Wasleys, approximately 70kms north-east of Adelaide.
AGT strengthen commitment to plant breeding with land acquisition
The purchase at auction on the 18th October is part of AGT’s ongoing commitment to strengthen breeding capacity by lessening reliance on leased land on which to grow breeding trials.
“We currently lease land at the University of Adelaide’s Roseworthy Campus farm to conduct a large number of trials”, explained AGT CEO Haydn Kuchel.
“The Roseworthy site has been a critical component of AGT’s success historically. It is a great location to breed varieties as it is representative of a very large area. Varieties selected at Roseworthy seem to be very widely adapted”.
“We continue to expand our breeding efforts, working harder on wheat varieties, but also durum, barley, lupins and now canola. That means that we need access to more land, and it is very pleasing that we were able to secure our own land just up the road from Roseworthy Campus.”
“It’s part of AGT’s long term strategy to ensure we have sufficient access to land in the local areas around our breeding centres in Roseworthy, Narrabri, Northam and Wagga Wagga.”
AGT SA Trials Manager Rowan Prior, who was AGT’s nominated bidder at the auction, further explained that the land purchase added a level of certainty to AGT’s breeding efforts in the future.
“AGT is constantly investing back into the business to ensure we thrive for many years to come. Accessing a parcel of land like this will help us continue to deliver high performing varieties to Australian farmers.”
This sentiment is echoed by Simeon Hemer, AGT Operations Manager.
“With the increasing number of crop types we are breeding, continual growth of trial plot numbers and the requirement to increase seed production, being able to own a parcel of land of this size in an area where plant breeding has been successfully undertaken for over 100 years is a major step forward for us.”
Outside of AGT, local grain growers Corbin Schuster and Lyndon Price were also enthusiastic that the land had been purchased by the company.
“A plant breeder like AGT ideally needs to have control over how the land is utilised over a period of years, rather than having to adapt to someone else’s production cycle. So from that aspect, I feel it will help improve the quality of varieties that are being released onto the market.” Mr Schuster said.
“It’s also a huge statement to see AGT commit to the local area with an investment in productive cropping land such as this.”
Crystal Brook farmer Lyndon Price said he saw the purchase as a vote of confidence in Australian grain growers.
“When you see a company like AGT purchase land like this in the local community, it reassures me that they are here for the long haul, here to produce the best quality varieties that they can, with the best interests of the farmers at heart. Growing their business like this helps deliver new varieties adapted to the way we farm.”
AGT, breeders of successful varieties Mace, Scepter, Calibre and new Tomahawk CL Plus, is confident that this land acquisition, and planned purchases in other states will enable them to further deliver on their goal of improving the prosperity of Australian grain growers and the communities they live in.