Elsoms and Ackermann combine forces for UK barley breeding

Elsoms Seeds, the UK’s leading independent plant breeding business, has joined forces with renowned German barley breeder, Ackermann to form Elsoms Ackermann Barley Ltd. Elsoms Ackermann Barley Ltd will focus on breeding varieties specifically for the UK market, combining strong disease resistance and market leading yield characteristics with Ackermann’s impressive high quality malting and feed barley varieties.

“By joining forces in barley breeding, we will expand the impressive and comprehensive breeding programme established by Ackermann and focus it on the UK market, utilising the resources of the plant breeding, research and trialling facilities of Elsoms Seeds,” said Roger Keeling, Chairman of Elsoms Seeds Ltd.  

Ackermann is a member of the Saaten Union group of German breeders who have been working very closely with the Commercial and Technical teams at Elsoms over the past four years, for example in developing the new Spring Barley, Chanson.

Alexander Strube, Managing Director of Ackermann said “We have been impressed by the way Elsoms has developed Chanson and other varieties from our fellow members of Saaten Union” said. “We have established a global trialling, production and customer network but realised that to be successful in the UK, we required a strong UK partner and are delighted that Elsoms has agreed to join us in creating a new barley breeding business, Elsoms Ackermann Barley Ltd,” Alexander concluded.

Ackermann has a comprehensive breeding programme, successfully producing 2 row, 6 row, spring, winter, feed, distilling and brewing barleys, as well as being part of Saaten Union’s hybrid barley programme.

Adrian Hayler, Head of Elsoms Seeds’ Agricultural Department said “I attended the recent World Barley, Malt and Beer conference as part of the Saaten Union team and was impressed by the excellent reputation Ackermann have established with maltsters, brewers and distillers through their variety portfolio and technical expertise”

Elsoms Ackermann Barley products are expected to follow Ackermann’s own varieties onto the AHDB Recommended List by 2020. Over the last few years UK farmers, merchants and end users have had an increasingly limited choice of breeding programmes to choose their varieties from. The formation of Elsoms Ackermann Barley Ltd will provide the UK market with greater genetic diversity and an improved range of competitive varieties.

Elsoms Ackermann Barley is now recruiting a Barley Breeder, to be based in Lincolnshire, to lead the dramatic increase in scale of its barley programme.

Visitors to Cereals 2017 at Lincoln on 14th and 15th June will be able to discuss the Elsoms Ackermann Barley programme as well as see existing Ackermann varieties, such as Chanson, with Adrian Hayler and Dr Richard Jennaway, Technical Director of Saaten Union UK. 

Notes to editors:
1 -Elsoms Seeds Ltd is an independent company which has been breeding, producing and marketing seeds in the UK for over 100 years. Investment in research and trialling remains central to continual improvement of varietal performance for our customers – whether agricultural or vegetable seeds. In 2013 Elsoms Seeds became the marketing agent in the UK for Saaten Union and in the same year formed Elsoms Wheat Ltd with Nordsaat and Saaten Union Recherche.
2 -Ackermann Saatzucht GmbH & Co is an independent German company which has been breeding, producing and marketing barley for over 100 years. A founder member of Saaten Union, Ackerman is also successfully involved in Hybrid Cereal production through their investment in hybrid rye specialists, Hybro, and hybrid wheat and barley specialist, Saaten Union Recherche.
3 - SAATEN UNION GmbH was founded in 1965 and is an association of seven independent family owned plant breeding businesses employing 780 staff across its European wide network of subsidiaries. UK operations are based around the highly-regarded plant breeding and trial station near Newmarket, established and run by Technical Director, Dr Richard Jennaway, where varieties are selected and developed for the UK market. The company has one of the biggest and most advanced biotechnology laboratories for plant breeding in Germany, enabling it to make impressive strides in the use of hybrid and di-haploid technologies in the development of new varieties. SAATEN UNION’S breeding programme has successfully developed a comprehensive portfolio of varieties including hybrid and conventional wheat and rye, as well as barley, oats, triticale, and catch crops.


News & Events