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Cates is one of the few grain and seed companies in New Zealand with its own research arm.

Cates is the principal shareholder in Plant Research NZ Ltd, based at Innovation Park in Canterbury. Plant Research NZ develops innovative field pea, wheat, triticale and oat varieties using cutting-edge breeding methods and molecular marker technology.

The team focuses on breeding new varieties that incorporate specific traits – such as disease resistance and increased yield – to offer New Zealand and international clients a competitive advantage.

Plant Research NZ’s global network and collaborations have led to the development and release of new field pea varieties that now dominate international markets, including North and South America and Australia.

In addition to its plant breeding activities, Plant Research NZ specialises in:

  • Biotechnology: Isolating molecular markers for specific pea traits, to identify disease resistance.
  • Seed multiplication: Plant Research NZ operates several breeding nurseries throughout Canterbury, offering its Northern Hemisphere clients access to the region’s favourable climate and growing conditions.

International clients send their seed to Plant Research NZ, which then grows it on their behalf at one the local breeding nurseries. The multiplied seed is re-exported back to the client after harvest.

  • Testing services: Soil testing to identify paddocks that may contain root pathogens, which can devastate pea crops if not identified. Plant Research NZ also offers germination tests for peas and cereals so growers can check seed viability before planting.

At Cates we see plant breeding as the future of the industry, and we are committed to increasing our research and development capabilities.

 

 

 

Below: Trial plots in Leeston

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