Breeding success. About unique experience of the seed-growing enterprise

When 19 years ago a small group of ambitious Kuban breeders decided to organize a high-tech seed company, their only capital was the Soviet experience of breeding and practical knowledge of Western marketing. About how the company from Krasnodar became not just a competitor for the world's leading seed producers, but also overtook them in terms of sales.

Someone else's seed
In the 60s of the last century, the Soviet scientific school of selection of agricultural plants was on the rise. Half of the fields of Europe were sown with our seed. But the further development of Soviet breeding was not so successful. And after the collapse of the Soviet Union in Russia in the 90s virtually ceased to exist breeding institutions. The industry was not ready for tough competition with leading Western manufacturers. All attempts of the state to financially support individual breeding enterprises did not lead to success. As a result, Russian breeding science has lost not only the technical base, but also unique specialists.

Currently, the "seed" import dependence of Russian farmers on some crops reaches 95 percent. The most popular among our agricultural producers are imported seeds of sugar beet, corn, sunflower, potatoes, soybeans. For example, seed potatoes are imported from Holland and Germany, sunflower seeds and corn-from France.

Despite the rich Russian experience of breeding new varieties, few domestic breeders manage to defeat foreign competitors. This is despite the fact that the use of expensive imported seeds significantly reduces the profitability of production. Therefore, many experts of the agricultural market believe that the revival of the domestic seed industry is the key to ensuring food security of the country.

Good shoot
Russian "Agroplasma" is a rare example of a breeding and seed enterprise that successfully competes with the world's leading companies.

Nineteen years ago, when a professional Kuban breeder Nikolai Benko with a group of like-minded people created a seed company from scratch, they had neither state support nor investors.

But there was good experience. Benko 17 years engaged in corn breeding in Krasnodar research Institute of agriculture named after Lukyanenko under the guidance of the famous academician Mikhail Khadzhinov, chief breeder of Soviet corn. Then, already in the " new " times, he managed to work in one of the largest American companies in the field of sunflower breeding — Cargill. Combining the acquired practical knowledge in the field of Commerce and marketing with experience in breeding, Nikolai Benko with partners created a full-cycle company on the Western model (from the selection of varieties and seed production to their implementation).

As you know, every seed knows its time. At that time, sunflower hybrids were in great demand on the Russian market, so we decided to start with their selection. Later came the time of sorghum. The choice of these crops is due to their rare drought resistance and multipurpose use.

Currently, "Agroplast" — Russia's largest producer of hybrid seeds of sunflower, maize and sorghum. Hybrids of the company planted 600 thousand hectares of Russian land. Kuban breeders are the only exporters of seeds of sunflower and sorghum hybrids in the country. Hybrids of the company are registered in Pakistan, Kazakhstan, Belarus, Turkey and Ukraine.

Parent lines and hybrids are produced in a number of regions of Russia, Turkey and Pakistan. Perfectly clean seeds out in Pakistan, where "Agroplast" in the winter working on parent forms. The fact is that in many areas of Pakistan, sunflower is almost not sown and the fields with its crops are well isolated. In Russia, this highly profitable crop is grown everywhere, so it is impossible to obtain genetically pure seed material.

Completion of seeds is carried out at a modern plant in the Krasnodar region. To check the genetic purity of all batches of seeds sold are further tested by the method of soil control in the field of Pakistan, DNA analysis is also used. All does not meet the GOST of the batch shall be rejected.

Breeding station "of Agroplast" in the Krasnodar region there is a continuous workflow. Every year, more than two thousand potentially new hybrids are tested here. To determine the hybrids most adapted to specific soil and climatic conditions, the company annually conducts more than three thousand variety experiments in all regions of Russia.

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