Barenbrug New Zealand Plant Breeding Team was presented the Plant Breeder/Researcher Award by the NZ Plant Breeding & Research Association (PBRA) during the 2023 Arable Awards ceremony held in Christchurch.
The breeding team was recognised for its contribution to crop development and the impact on seed quality and yield.
Courtney Inch, head of research and development at Barenbrug NZ, said the award validates the breeding work done over many years. He also acknowledged the other finalist, Plant & Food Research.
The work of all other plant breeders adds to the strength of plant breeding in New Zealand and helps keep our agriculture sector at the forefront, Courtney says.
PBRA general manager Thomas Chin said plant breeding is the starting point for the arable/seed industry and relies on the skills of many talented individuals as they strive to meet the needs of farmers and growers. Their positive contributions mean a more productive and profitable primary industry and ultimately NZ Inc.
Plant breeders underpin the arable sector generating $800 million in annual sales,including $245 million from exports.
Bringing a new seed variety to market can take many years from concept to commercialisation, often around a decade or so. And what the new variety will bring may include improved yield, persistence, climate tolerance or resistance to disease and insects, and these traits are in the main driven by customer demand.
The inaugural Plant Breeder/Researcher Award was sponsored by the PBRA to recognise individuals or breeding teams whose work makes outstanding contributions to the arable/pastoral industry and the advancement of plant breeding.
Source: NZ Plant Breeding and Research Association