The brand name Ideltis will be used as the name for future hybrid wheats from BASF.

The first of its exciting new hybrid wheats will be available from the mid-2020s in key wheat growing regions in Europe and North America

BASF’s hybrid model is intended to provide farmers with higher and more stable performance in yield and quality to advance one of the world’s most important crops.

“Ideltis stands for our commitment to hybrid wheat and the transition of the wheat crop system in the long-term,” said Vincent Gros, president of BASF Agricultural Solutions. “With Ideltis, we are unlocking the full potential of wheat.

"Through our global research platform, we provide growers and the entire value chain with hybrid wheat that is tailored to their local needs and consistently delivers better, more stable yield.”

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The company has early stage material in small plot trials in the UK and Sarah Middleton, its market manager for seeds in UK and Ireland, said she’s already observing characteristics that will bring about yield improvements.

“While we’re seeing plants with more tillers, bigger ears, more grain sites and better roots, these hybrids have been developed with more than yield in mind," she commented.

“Through our grower communities, like the Real Results Circle, we know farmers are increasingly facing weather extremes – wetter autumns and drier springs, for example – and it’s becoming harder to produce consistently good wheat crops.

"With the potential to uptake water and nutrients more efficiently, we expect Ideltis hybrid wheats to be more resilient to our increasingly variable weather patterns.”

Plant breeding is very much a long-term activity and this has been developed with the future in mind. She added: “Hybrids will inherently bring more genetic diversity and tolerance to the biotic and abiotic changes we’re predicted to face. With more durable disease resistance, for example, we can be more targeted with our inputs.

"And with stronger growth habits, there’s potential for these seeds to expand growers' IPM options, allowing them to better adapt to a changing portfolio of weeds. As we get closer to market, we will be working with our community of growers to trial the new seeds."

New opportunities will come through hybrid varieties, pointed out a leading expert. “Hybrids are already used in many crops, but wheat and the production of hybrid wheat seeds is complex – this is why it took time to develop breakthrough technologies that enable future widely commercialization of hybrid wheat,” said Professor Dr Jochen Reif, head of breeding research at Leibniz Institute of Plant Genetics and Crop Plant Research, in Germany, one of the world’s leading institutions in this field.