OVERLAND PARK, Kan. - Archer Daniels Midland Company (ADM) has announced a $325,000 investment in the Kansas Wheat Commission Research Foundation that will be used to strengthen the hard white wheat variety development in the Kansas State University wheat breeding program at Hays.
The investment will allow wheat breeder Guorong Zhang and his colleagues to use molecular marker and doubled haploid technologies to develop new white wheat varieties suited for the baking industry, plus offer farmers improved yield and agronomic traits. White wheat is well-suited for bread, tortillas, noodles and many other baking applications.
"ADM's investment in wheat breeding will deliver benefits to our growers and customers
Guorong Zhang, wheat breeder at KSU's wheat breeding program at Hays, says the investment from ADM will help farmers with improved agronomics and end-users with highly functional varieties.
through improved agronomic profiles and quality characteristics," said Nick Weigel, vice president of Technical Services for ADM Milling, a subsidiary of ADM. "The KSU Agricultural Research Center in Hays supports many of our key growing areas. This funding will be used to incorporate new breeding technologies and assure the continued development and release of elite public wheat varieties."
The funds will be paid to K-State through the KWCRF over five years. This is the first research project funded by the KWCRF since it was established in 2011.
ADM's investment provides stability to the K-State hard white wheat breeding program, and enhances the visibility of the program's white wheat varieties in the marketplace, Zhang said. "By incorporating advanced breeding technologies to improve the quality of our white wheat, farmers will continue to see high yield potential and excellent disease resistance in forthcoming white wheat varieties," he explained. "End-users can continue to count on high-quality wheat for their customers."
Zhang will work closely with ADM Milling in evaluating quality characteristics and performance of yield potential of future hard wheat lines.
Western Kansas is well-suited for white wheat production due to ideal environmental growing conditions, and K-State's wheat breeding program at Hays is a leader in white wheat variety research. ADM Milling, based in Overland Park, Kansas, is a leader in white wheat milling, with strong origination and sourcing capabilities in western Kansas.
Justin Gilpin, CEO of the Kansas Wheat Commission, says ADM's support of the K-State breeding program in Hays is a partnership that ensures a bright future for white wheat production in Kansas.
"It is vital that as K-State continues its efforts to deliver wheat genetics to farmers more quickly than ever, that those improvements include characteristics that our biggest customers need," Gilpin said.