Bayer and the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences (CAAS) have signed a research collaboration agreement focused on improving wheat yields. They want to better understand the genetic factors determining grain yield in wheat. The collaboration will provide an opportunity for CAAS members to gain more insights into research at Bayer via short-term placements and regular visits to the scientists working at the Bayer Innovation Center in Ghent, Belgium. Bayer already has a well-established and close partnership with CAAS in various areas of agricultural research.
Roughly 25 % of the world’s arable land is used to grow wheat. This makes wheat the cereal with the largest amount of land used for cultivation and one of the most important staple foods in the world. With a production volume exceeding 700 million tons annually, wheat is the second most widely grown cereal crop after corn. Major wheat-producing regions include China, Australia, the countries bordering the Black Sea, the EU, India, and North America. Productivity in wheat is currently increasing at a rate of less than 1 % annually, while demand for wheat is growing twice as fast, according to Catherine Feuillet, Global Head of Trait Research at the Crop Science Division of Bayer.