Tuesday, 24 July 2018 11:26

British seed breeder forges ahead in NZ

Written by 
Sarah Gard, Germinal. Sarah Gard, Germinal.

UK seed company Germinal’s plant breeding programme in New Zealand is progressing well, says general manager Sarah Gard.

Notably, this is the first time any material has been taken outside of Germinal’s R&D partner, the Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences (IBERS) in Wales, a known centre of excellence in plant breeding. 

“Using IBERS material we are selecting for the traits we want in a NZ environment, such as increasing the early spring growth in our perennial ryegrass.” Gard joined Germinal in 2014, managing trials and product development before becoming general manager earlier this year.

“Our R&D in NZ involves plot trials where we test our current commercial varieties, and new breeding lines, against other commercial varieties. I’m also running a new plant breeding programme where we are breeding new Germinal varieties for NZ in NZ,” says Gard.

Existing Germinal products are already performing well in NZ conditions, she says. 

Germinal has a small team – Gard and sales manager Andrew Miller, with a new research technician starting soon. 

Gard says Germinal NZ has the global company’s backing to offer a range of well-researched and proven products to NZ farmers, plus her and Miller’s ‘Kiwi know-how’.

“Andrew and I are both farmers,” Gard says. “This means we understand what farmers need and those needs are always at the front of our minds in all the decisions we make. 

“We’ve a full range of proven Germinal products available this spring that we know will perform well for farmers in NZ conditions.”


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