Did you know soy (or soya bean) is one of the richest and cheapest forms of protein in the world? Plant Research (NZ) Ltd are currently working on an exciting soy crop trial alongside Cates with the goal of growing this highly versatile crop locally.

Plant Research (NZ) Ltd commenced the research programme to identify commercially acceptable soy varieties three years ago.  The aim is to identify genetics suitable for production, mainly in Canterbury.

Through an international collaboration, targeted genetics were evaluated over the three year period with selection based on disease tolerance, maturity, grain yield and protein content.  One variety has been selected for field scale trials and this is being managed by Cates’ Seed Production Specialist, Martin Reid.

Subject to a successful season, this variety will be ramped up to meet domestic demand for a non GMO plant protein that can be utilised domestically for food and feed and industrial applications The key to finding a commercially successful variety is to use a targeted and designed approach to select adapted genetics.  Success will be based on reliable performance and a competitive gross margin compared with importing soy or using other domestically produced protein crops

Plant Breeder Adrian Russell says that the variety identified has performed well over the previous three seasons.

Plant Research Ltd breeds and develops plant genetics that are used throughout the world. “It is always pleasing when our team can identify genetics that can be used in New Zealand”, Mr Russell says.

Pictured: A healthy soya bean plant breaking through the soil in the current crop trial. 

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