SECOBRA Researchs develops cereal breeding programs adapted and tuned in with the industry and the farmers. The breeding department achieves around , and about . The latter is one of the biggest malting barley breeding programs in Europe, and the investment made matches the extent.
Indeed, breeding is the pillar of the company. For more than 100 years, SECOBRA RECHERCHES has been following farmers and the industry
in their varietal demand with several criteria: yield, agronomical stability and quality. These expectations are evolving and the breeder must adapt to these demands and adjust his breeding program to go in the right direction. The breeder is driven to work in order to respond to the challenges of today’s and tomorrow’s Agriculture:
- Produce better and more (“Grenelle de l’Environnement”),
- adapt varieties to the climatic changes with a better yield stability,
- integrate durable disease resistance, and finally, respond the industry’s expectations.
In order to achieve this goal, SECOBRA RECHERCHES implements considerable means:
- Tens of thousands of mini-plots are observed and analysed to test the agronomic behaviour and the technological potential of the lines.
- Nurseries naturally or hand contaminated by several diseases are drilled in numerous locations in Europe, thus allowing the assessment of the varietal resistance by covering almost all the races of pathogens existing.
- These keys points represent more than 200Ha of nurseries and trials throughout Europe.
- A quality lab for barley and wheat allows several tests such as micromalting, malt analysis, and predictive tests for baking ability, all based in Maule, the headquarters.
- Samples are sent away to be analysed by external industrials in order to have real condition results. If breeding asks for a lot of technical means it’s also very time-consuming. Many technologies are developed in order to reduce the laps of time between the first crosses and the variety registration. These methods to speed up the process are used internally at SECOBRA RECHERCHES:
- Diplo-haploid : 100% of the winter barley breeding program, and part of the winter wheat program.
- SSD (Single Seed Descent) : part of the winter wheat program.
- Counter seasons in New Zealand: spring breeding program.
- Molecular marking: innovative technique, allowing thanks to biochemical and biotechnological markers to characterise precise genes in the lines. It is used to introgress specific genes to pile up several genes in a genome. It is the case for some resistance genes such as PCH1 against eyespot, BYDV…
- Pre-breeding: SECOBRA RECHERCHES develops numerous programs aiming at the introduction of: + New and durable sources of disease resistance + Specific quality traits interesting the industry
- Screening: trials are set up in Europe and across the World.
All these means and technologies are developed thanks to 3 SECOBRA RECHERCHES breeding centres in Europe: 1 in France and 2 in Germany. The breeding in done by a team of 45 persons in total including 25 in France.
Open to its business sector and seeking performance, SECOBRA RECHERCHES is involved in numerous collaborative research projects, public or private, like “Breedwheat”. These partnerships are the result of a willingness of SECOBRA RECHERCHE to share and exchange skills in order to stay informed of news and innovations. SECOBRA RECHERCHES wants to take part in colossal projects impossible to self-finance, and to act on subjects that form the future of the industry and Agriculture.