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China’s hybrid wheat heading towards mass production

(People's Daily Online)    16:52, June 12, 2018

China’s two-line hybrid wheat, a major domestic scientific and technological achievement, is moving rapidly into massive commercial production, Science and Technology Daily reported on Monday.

Jingmai 9 hybrid wheat

The current supply of hybrid wheat seeds is falling short of demand and the majority of franchisers expect to buy more of the praised hybrid seeds this year, said Wang Xinchao, an agricultural sales manager, on June 8 at a Tianjin demonstration planting base.

Wang said he sold 25,000 kilograms of Jingmai 9 seeds last year. It's estimated that his sales record this year will be eight to 10 times that figure.

Since the 1950s, governments around the world have attached high importance to studies on hybrid wheat, but it had remained a challenging scientific problem until Chinese researchers took the lead and successfully cultivated the two-line hybrid wheat, said experts.

The hybrid wheat has been proven to outperform the common wheat in terms of yield, water use, drought and disease resistance, said Professor Zhao Changping, director of the Beijing Hybrid Wheat Research Center.

The expert added that the hybrid variety can increase production by 20 percent, save between one third and a half of the water used from farming common wheat, and reduce sowing quantity by more than 30 percent.

Now hybrid wheat plantations cover about 133 square kilometers of land across the country, said Chen Zhaobo, general manager of Sinoseeds Hybrid Wheat, the first professional hybrid wheat seed company in China, adding that the area is anticipated to reach 667 square kilometers by 2020.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Hongyu, Bianji)

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