Melbourne, Australia – June 1, 2020 – BASF and its commercial partner Seednet have confirmed Australian growers will have access to Ascot, the first BASF-bred wheat seed, in 2021. Selected for its yield, quality, and agronomic adaptability, Ascot is the first in a series of wheat varieties to be commercialised by BASF nationally. This innovation is the result of almost a decade of research at BASF’s Wheat and Oilseed Breeding Centre in Longerenong, Victoria.
“We see the development of new varieties as the key to increasing productivity,” said Rob Hall, Seeds & Traits Business Head Asia Pacific, BASF. “Ascot will be the first release from our wheat breeding program and is the result of our investment in research at Longerenong. We look forward to producing a range of exciting wheat varieties in the next few years.”
Ascot has shown excellent yield potential during development and is produced for BASF and Seednet by Australian Grain and Forage (AGF) Seeds in the Central Highlands of Victoria. Growing exceptionally well in the region, Ascot will be suited to farmers with similar growing conditions, in the recommended growing area, covering eastern South Australia, central Victoria and southern New South Wales, for the 2021 season.
Each Australian BASF wheat variety will be named in honor of a local industry pioneer. Ascot was named after James Fry, a gold rush miner who switched to growing and milling wheat in the 1850s. At Fry’s Ascot Mill, located only a few kilometers from where the BASF seeds are cultivated, he experimented with new varieties to increase the viability of wheat crops for the region.
“We think it’s very appropriate to acknowledge early innovators in this way. We want to recognize that everyone who is working to move local agriculture forward today, is building on the work of previous generations – people who had a vision of what could be achieved through a combination of boldness, imagination and sheer persistence,” added Hall.
BASF is already well established as an Australian breeder of canola seed, with several ground-breaking hybrid varieties with innovative traits such as PodGuard® and TruFlex® under the InVigor® brand.
Ascot wheat seed will be available to growers for the 2021 winter cropping season. For more information on Ascot and BASF’s Crop Solutions portfolio, visit www.crop-solutions.basf.com.au.
About BASF’s Agricultural Solutions division
With a rapidly growing population, the world is increasingly dependent on our ability to develop and maintain sustainable agriculture and healthy environments. Working with farmers, agricultural professionals, pest management experts and others, it is our role to help make this possible. That’s why we invest in a strong R&D pipeline and broad portfolio, including seeds and traits, chemical and biological crop protection, soil management, plant health, pest control and digital farming. With expert teams in the lab, field, office and in production, we connect innovative thinking and down-to-earth action to create real world ideas that work – for farmers, society and the planet. In 2019, our division generated sales of €7.8 billion. For more information, please visit www.agriculture.basf.com or any of our social media channels.
About BASF in Australia and New Zealand
BASF serves key industries in the agriculture, coatings, construction, manufacturing and mining sectors, and posted sales of about €359 million in Australia and New Zealand in 2019. As of the end of 2019, the company had 500 employees and operated 11 production sites across agricultural solutions, performance products and functional materials and solutions. BASF has been active in Australia for more than 90 years, and for about 60 years in New Zealand. Further information is available on the internet at www.basf.com/au.
At BASF, we create chemistry for a sustainable future. We combine economic success with environmental protection and social responsibility. More than 117,000 employees in the BASF Group work on contributing to the success of our customers in nearly all sectors and almost every country in the world. Our portfolio is organized into six segments: Chemicals, Materials, Industrial Solutions, Surface Technologies, Nutrition & Care and Agricultural Solutions. BASF generated sales of €59 billion in 2019. BASF shares are traded on the stock exchange in Frankfurt (BAS) and as American Depositary Receipts (BASFY) in the U.S. Further information at www.basf.com.