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Performance of EkoNiva Plant Breeding and Seed Growing Centre in 2021

Press-centre / News,

EkoNiva Group has summarised the performance of the Centre of Plant Breeding and Variety Maintenance in 2021. The key achievements of the year include five new varieties submitted for state trials: three winter wheat and two soybean varieties. EN Isida, EN Polyarnik and EN Altais winter wheats and soybean EN-1107 are intended for Central Black Soil and Middle Volga regions and EN-1319-2 soybean – for West Siberian region.

In order to be able to do local environmental testing of the breeding lines in the specific climatic conditions, EkoNiva opened two regional branches of the Breeding Centre – in Voronezh and Novosibirsk oblasts and plans to establish two more - in Ryazan and Bashkiria.

The Centre adopts state-of-the-art methods such as molecular biotechnology, marker-assisted and genomic breeding to accelerate the progress. The methods ensure fast detection of the lines with specific economically relevant and biological traits, such as protein content, photoperiodic response and drought resistance.

‘In the joint research study together with the Russian Research Institute of Agricultural Microbiology, we identified the variety responses to various inoculant strains – biopreparations stimulating plant development, which potentially will enable the company to offer package solutions of varieties going together with the most suitable inoculant’, explains Vitaliy Voloshchenko.

EkoNiva embarked on the project on developing high-efficiency agricultural varieties in 2018 by launching a comprehensive winter wheat breeding programme on the premises of the first in Russia privately owned Plant Breeding and Variety Maintenance Centre in Zaschitnoye, and later, in 2019, - a soybean breeding project.

By now, the Centre has submitted 15 winter wheat and 5 soybean varieties of own breeding to the State Variety Testing Commission.

EN Cepheus, EN Albireo and EN Taygeta winter wheats and EN Argenta soybean have been entered into the State Register of Plant Breeding Achievements.

‘EkoNiva is a driving force and a big player in plant breeding and seed growing market of Russia. We are determined to further develop the ongoing projects to continuously supply high-quality seeds to Russian farmers’, emphasises Vitaliy Voloshchenko, Director of the Plant Breeding and Variety Maintenance Centre.

The Centre is in active cooperation with agricultural universities to attract talented graduates to the research and development. Over the four years of running Vavilovets Student Team HR Project, EkoNiva has admitted 55 students from 15 universities and academies for internship. Four of them later came to work for EkoNiva.

‘Progressive tools and equipment, high competence of the specialists, the facilities of one of the best seed growing farms in Russia and close business relation with EkoNiva-Semena seed-trading company give the Centre a massive edge securing a significant market share for the company’s varieties. At the same time, it motivates us to expand our breeding programmes’, highlights Yuriy Vasyukov, Regional Director.

The 2022 agenda includes the implementation of spring wheat, chickpea and lentil breeding projects and the participation in the Oilseed Breeding Project under the Federal Scientific Programme of Agriculture Development.