The world is changing, with ever-increasing demands on today’s farmers. Consumers demand high quality products at competitive pricing, but they and governments want to see improved animal welfare, improvements to animal and human health with reductions to pollutants and emissions from a sustainable agricultural industry.
The Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences (IBERS), part of Aberystwyth University in Wales, is a world-renowned centre of excellence in plant breeding and is an important part of our variety development. Germinal work alongside IBERS on a comprehensive range of research projects aimed at making a real difference to the long-term sustainability and profitability of our farmers.
The projects involve research into disease and pest resistance on grass and clover varieties, greater seed yields, flood prevention and drought resistance, nitrogen and phosphate efficiency. Also, invaluable research into improving polyunsaturated fatty acid content of meat and milk to improve production and animal health, reduce methane emissions and reduce the negative impact of animal products on human health.
In New Zealand, Germinal have established a research and development station at Insignis Park in Christchurch. This site allows us to build our knowledge on our current variety portfolio, as well as testing new varieties coming through both our New Zealand breeding programme and new developments from IBERS. Alongside our research at Insignis Park, we are also trialling our varieties out on farms around New Zealand. Examining the performance of our varieties under real-life pressures in a range of farming systems is essential to ensure we are delivering farmers with robust, top-performing products that will work for them.
Germinal New Zealand is a member of the New Zealand Plant Breeding and Research Association and we are actively involved in the National Forage Variety Trials (NFVT) across New Zealand. The value of the NFVT system and the data it provides to DairyNZ’s Forage Value Index (FVI) is crucial in highlighting the strengths and weaknesses of individual varieties.
We aim to continue to deliver unique products with measurable benefits to our customers, by ensuring our research is focussed on their needs.