Cooperation with leading European seed company:
Bayer CropScience and RAGT Semences sign licensing and
cooperation agreement for the improvement of wheat
Monheim, June 27, 2011 – Bayer CropScience and the privately-owned company RAGT
Semences S.A.S., based in Rodez, France, have signed a license and cooperation
agreement. Under the agreement, RAGT grants Bayer CropScience access to winter
wheat germplasm and associated molecular markers. The French company has one of
the strongest winter wheat breeding programs in Europe. In addition, both companies will
explore joint projects to further improve wheat breeding and RAGT will have options to
license wheat traits from Bayer CropScience. Financial details were not disclosed.
“We are very excited about our partnership with RAGT and the opportunities it will bring in
the future. This mutually beneficial agreement will further strengthen the wheat breeding
programs of both partners,” said Sandra E. Peterson, Chairman and CEO of Bayer
CropScience. “This licensing and cooperation agreement is another important step to
achieve our goal: To improve sustainable cereal production with superior solutions based
on our leading crop protection portfolio, agricultural service solutions and best in class
wheat varieties. These solutions will enable growers to increase the productivity of wheat
in a sustainable way addressing challenges like climate change.”
For Daniel Segonds, Chairman of RAGT Executive Board, “this agreement represents a
major step for RAGT in further expanding its solid position in the European wheat seed
Wheat is a key crop for both partners that deserves huge research efforts involving both
conventional and new breeding techniques in order to address the future challenges in
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“Thanks to Bayer CropScience’s strong traits portfolio and the company’s unique skills in
advanced technology, combined with its commitment and means to address these new
challenges, Bayer CropScience certainly represents the ideal partner for us,” said Daniel
Segonds. “We are convinced that this cooperation will be a source of sound solutions for
European growers, and will highly benefit both partners,” he added.
In July 2009, Bayer CropScience announced the expansion of its global activities in seeds
and traits, to include a focus on cereals. As part of its investment plans, the company is
increasing its research and development resources to raise productivity of wheat
cropping. To support its internal research and development efforts, Bayer CropScience
has already entered into collaborations with CSIRO in Australia, the University of
Nebraska in Lincoln, USA, and Evogene in Israel. In 2010, Bayer CropScience also
acquired two wheat breeding programs in the Ukraine. The first new wheat varieties from
the company’s global wheat breeding program are expected to be available within the
next five years.
Key figures about wheat:
With about 25 percent of the global agricultural land under wheat cultivation, it is the
largest cereal crop in terms of acreage and one of the world’s most important staple
foods. Wheat is the second most-produced cereal crop after corn with more than 650
million tons produced every year. Wheat productivity is increasing at less than 1 percent
annually, while the annual global demand is growing at approximately double that
percentage. Main wheat producing regions are Australia, the Black Sea Region, China,
the European Union, India and North America.
About Bayer CropScience
Bayer is a global enterprise with core competencies in the fields of health care, nutrition
and high-tech materials. Bayer CropScience, a subgroup of Bayer AG with annual sales
of EUR 6.830 billion (2010), is one of the world’s leading innovative crop science
companies in the areas of crop protection, non-agricultural pest control, seeds and traits.
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 20,700 and is represented in more than 120 countries. This and
further news is available at: www.press.bayercropscience.com.
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About RAGT Semences
RAGT SA, based in Rodez (Aveyron), is organized into two main activities: farming and
gardening supply for its region of origin, and a seed activity, RAGT Semences, which
make it one of the major players in Europe, particularly in cereals, corn, oilseeds and
fodder plants. The RAGT group reports revenue of €300 million and has a workforce of
over 1,100 worldwide. See www.ragt.fr for further information.
Bayer CropScience AG
Utz Klages, Tel. +49 2173 38-3125
Carmen Vela, Tel. +33 5 65 73 42 26
Information for editors:
On the expert´s phone Marcus Weidler, Global Crop Manager Cereals, is available
at +49 2173 38-3125 from 3.30 pm until 4.30 pm (CET).
Find more information at www.bayercropscience.com.
This release may contain forward-looking statements based on current assumptions and forecasts made by Bayer
Group or subgroup management. Various known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors could lead to
material differences between the actual future results, financial situation, development or performance of the company
and the estimates given here. These factors include those discussed in Bayer’s public reports which are available on
the Bayer website at www.bayer.com. The company assumes no liability whatsoever to update these forward-looking
statements or to conform them to future events or developments.
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