Graminor ltd. is responsible for the development of plant varieties to be used by the agricultural and horticultural industries in Norway. Our mission is to deliver new plant varieties adapted to Norwegian and Nordic growth conditions.
The goal is to secure Norwegian agriculture and horticulture access to varied, climate adapted and disease free plant material that is suited to Norwegian conditions. Graminor breeds new varieties of the species: cereals, forage crops, potatoes, fruits and berries.
Our main assignments are plant breeding, testing and representation of foreign varieties as well as prebase production which is to produce seeds that are sold to seed producers for further propagation and sale to end users.
Graminor was established in 2002 as a further development of Norsk Kornforedling (Norwegian Cereal breeding) to gather Norwegian plant breeding and -development in one company.
The company is run from Bjørke Forsøksgård close to the city Hamar where we have our main office, modern greenhouse and dispose 1000 decare of outside areal for breeding and propagation of cereals, potatoes and forage corps. Testing of forage crops for Nordic conditions take place at NIBIO in Tromsø and testing of fruits and berries take place at Njøs Forsøksgård in Leikanger and Sagaplant AS in Sauherad.
Graminor is a specialist company. A significant part of the business is research based, long term and risk filled.
Graminor's most important and prioritized market is Norway and our main goal is to develop new plant varieties that can increase Norwegian food production based on Norwegian resources. Our market share in Norway lies at approximately 70% for forage crops and over 50% for cereals.
We work towards strengthening the export of our own varieties to increase the profitability in our plant breeding. Vi have significant foreign market shares for barley and some export of oats and wheat varieties. In 2015 Norwegian cereal varieties were grown over larger areas in Finland than in Norway. Sweden and the Baltics are other export markets with comparable growth conditions to Norway.
Plant breeding (development of new plant varieties) for Norwegian growth conditions is our core competence and -business. In Norway agriculture is carried out father north than in any other country. A short growth season with low temperatures, cold winters and large variations in light makes it so that few other countries have similar growth conditions to us. plant varieties that are adapted to our needs is of paramount importance for cost effective food production in all parts if the country.
Our most important breeding goals are to develop varieties that grant a large and stable production of high quality, that has strong resistance to plant diseases and that is adapted to expected future climate change, consumer preferences and environmental requirements. This applies to, among others, use of pesticides, climate gas release and increased CO2-binding in the earth and plants. Our priorities are based on analyses of future venues of profit.
Breeding takes time, capital, knowledge and is risky. Development takes 10 to 20 years from start to official approval, depending on the species. It's a large challenge to anticipate demand and market trends that far into the future.
Our breeding work is based on traditional methods with crossing, selection and testing. We also utilize biotechnological methods. Our scientist are constantly seeking new technologies, routines and selection methods to breed new and better varieties quicker, cheaper and with less risk than today. This is why Graminor participates in many research and development-projects.
Graminor works within four main areas:
1. Independent plant breeding
Independent plant breeding makes up over half of our breeding activities and includes the cereals barley, oats, wheat, rye and triticale. The results for barley is calculated to a yearly progress of one percent as a result of better plant material. The food grade grain-percentage has increased from three-four percent in the early seventies to over 70 percent during good years in the 2000s For wheat.
2. Plant breeding for the state
Graminor is assigned to initiate and run breeding programs for forage crops, fruits, berries and potatoes through funds from the state. With this the state seeks to secure development of varieties that is adapted to the growth conditions in different parts of the country. The purpose is to increase cost effectiveness and profitability in these productions, where the market income is to small to cover the cost of breeding.
3. Variety representation
Our strategy is to test foreign varieties and make suitable varieties available to the market, rather than running our own breeding programs. The prerequisite is that the material satisfies Norwegian demands for overwintering, early maturation, quality and other necessary variety traits. Representation agreements gives us access to new varieties and markets, as well as the right to sell agreed upon varieties. The import takes place in close cooperation with the seed production industry.
4. Prebase production
As variety owner and representative for foreign breeding material Graminor has sole right to import and produce prebase of seeds for cereals, forage crops, potatoes and elite plants of fruits and berries. The products are sold mostly to seed companies and plant companies for further propagation and sale to farmers. We do not operate in the retail market.
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