We serve farmers, seed producers, and everyday consumers with our active breeding program.
Securing food production to feed the world has become one of the most pressing needs of agricultural systems. However, being able to increase yield in a sustainable manner, without compromising the environment is an even greater challenge. One of the best approaches to accomplish this objective is to breed for locally adapted, resilient cereal varieties. Our applied research focuses on the study of the most relevant traits in agriculture such as yield, grain quality, and diseases. We use strong theoretical development coupled with state of the art breeding tools to release high performing, locally adapted varieties of oats, wheat, and barley to serve the Midwest agricultural systems.
As a result, three varieties have been released from our oat breeding program (Antigo, Laker and Esker2020 oats) and new varieties are in the pipeline to be released shortly. These outputs from our research have a direct impact on Wisconsin farmers who can benefit from high yielding locally adapted varieties that can provide a premium to their crops.
Varieties from our program cover more than 85% of the market share of the oat varieties grown in the state of Wisconsin with a 15% increase since Dr. Gutierrez’s arrival to UW-Madison.WCIA 2018
Our research also benefits the Wisconsin agriculture by providing a suitable cereal to include in crop rotations that has a positive impact on cropping systems performance and the environment. Finally, the development and deployment of oat varieties with increased disease resistance decreases the chemical inputs needed for production, therefore improving the agroecosystem health.