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Grow Pro Genetics acquires AgriPro wheat breeding program

Nicola Patterson/iStock/Getty Images Wheat field in rural Midwest as the sun sets. LaSalle County, Illinois, USA
CHANGING HANDS: Grow Pro Genetics will acquire Syngenta’s AgriPro soft red winter wheat breeding program.
The sale includes soft wheat breeding germplasm, and Grow Pro Genetics is now the exclusive supplier of AgriPro branded soft wheat varieties.

Grow Pro Genetics LLC, Bourbonnais, Ill., announces it has acquired the AgriPro soft red winter wheat breeding program, which was previously owned by Syngenta.

Grow Pro Genetics develops soft red winter wheat genetics using traditional plant breeding combined with advanced seed technology to enable the business to provide a critical input to farmers. The company creates soft red winter wheat varieties specifically for the eastern U.S. growing region, with primary acres located in the Midwest.

The sale includes soft wheat breeding germplasm, and Grow Pro Genetics is now the exclusive supplier of AgriPro branded soft wheat varieties.

“This change has already created agility to work even closer with our key accounts,” says Ken Davis, Grow Pro Genetics’ commercial director. The goal is to continue the development of sound procedures and wheat varieties that will maximize the growers’ yields and increase their return on investment.

While overall wheat acres have fallen in the last few years, strong commodity prices and a successful 2020 planting season could change the trend for 2021. According to USDA, soft red winter wheat planted acres rose from 5.2 million in the 2019-20 crop year to 5.56 million in the 2020-21 crop year. To help farmers capture more value from their wheat acres, Grow Pro Genetics plans to release new varieties for pilot production and sales this season, with more broad-based access to its varieties in 2022.

Grow Pro Genetics was formed in July 2020 by a group of seed growers and investors passionate about soft red winter wheat, according to company literature. It’s an outgrowth of a legacy breeding program that began in 1914 when the Coker Pedigreed Seed Co. was incorporated in Hartzville, S.C. Then, in the early 2000s, Coker merged with AgriPro, and in cooperation with Syngenta, the business and breeding program was acquired in 2020.

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