Crossbreeding in the field!
Here at Sollio Agriculture’s research farm, we leave nothing to chance. It takes several years of research and field work all over the country to get a product to your field. Our team even bakes bread and hand makes certain crop varieties. It’s that kind of attention to detail and commitment to sustainable innovation that ultimately helps farmers improve their yields.
To develop new varieties of soybean, barley and oat, our research farm experts make crossbreeds by hand, in the field.
“A lot of people think that innovation only happens in a lab, but here, it happens in the field,” says research farm crop improvement breeder Jérôme Auclair.
Our experts begin by carefully selecting male and female plants with sought-after qualities.
When crossing soybeans, the female flower must be pollinated before it opens. So, our specialists set out into the field with magnifying glasses and gently peel open the petals of each flower to insert the male pollen with tiny tweezers. Sometimes, they add a bit of paper to prevent the flower from drying out too quickly. For barley and oat, the process is similar.
“Crosses produce grains that we can use to develop our varieties,” Auclair explains.
Year in and year out, our experts carry out about 60 barley and oat crosses and up to 300 soybean crosses.
“Developing our own varieties means that we have more control over the seeds that we offer,” adds Sollio Agriculture breeder and researcher Valérie Chabot. “Our goal is to make sure that farmers have everything they need to obtain the best possible yields, while preserving the environment and soil health.”
To find out which variety is best suited to your farm, speak with an agri-advisor in your area.