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Future subjects

Future subjects

As plant breeders we must look far into the future, because the development of a new variety usually takes more than 10 years. Together with our customers, we are already trying to predict what properties our products should have in 20 years time and what requirements might be placed on plant production in the future.

There are currently 7.1 billion people on Earth and by 2050 the world population will have grown to 9 billion people. In the future, the climate will be increasingly characterised by weather extremes and the global temperature will rise because of carbon dioxide output. Water and raw materials resources will become ever scarcer. Plants will increasingly have to be able to cope with extreme environments and shortage situations. “Global warming“is likely to change the vegetation conditions in the growing areas of the world and increase pest pressure.

With specially developed varieties, such as those made resistant to heat, cultivation outside of the usual sugar beet growing regions of the temperate climate zone could become more economically and ecologically viable. Winter beets could also provide greatly increased yields within a short time and facilitate better production utilisation in the sugar factories of Europe. Drought-tolerant sugar beet varieties, grain varieties that require less fertiliser - thus helping to conserve scarce resources, and general stress tolerance are all subjects which we are already addressing in our current research work.