Graminor AS breeds plant varieties for the Norwegian agricultural and horticultural industry. Our mission is to deliver plant varieties that are suited to the Nordic climatic conditions and market needs. Our goal is to give the Norwegian farmer access to the best varieties for their local climatic conditions and thereby aiding them in getting a simpler, more predictable, and sustainable production.
Graminor specializes in the development of new varieties of cereals, forage crops, potatoes, fruits and berries. Our main areas of business are plant breeding, testing, representation of foreign varieties and pre-base production. Pre-base production is the production of seeds that are then sold to seed companies for propagation and sale to farmers. Graminor also shares in the responsibility for propagating elite plants and seed potatoes.
Graminor AS was established in 2002 to amalgamate Norwegian plant breeding into one company.
The company is run from Bjørke Forsøksgård close to the town of Hamar. Here Graminor’s main offices, modern greenhouses, laboratories are located and approximately 1000 decares of arable land are available for plant breeding and propagation of cereals, potatoes, and forage crops. Fruit and berry breeding is undertaken at Njøs fruit and berry center in Leikanger on assignment from Graminor.
Graminor is a specialist company focused on long term research-based project work.
Graminor’s core competence and area of business is plant breeding for the Nordic climatic conditions. The short growth season at these latitudes with low temperatures, cold winters, and large variations in daylight throughout the year mean that few other countries have similar growth conditions as found in the Nordic region. Plant varieties that are adapted to these conditions are crucial for cost-effective food production throughout this region. Our purpose is to ensure that the Norwegian agricultural and horticultural industries have access to varied, climate-adapted, and disease-free plant material, that is suitable for the Nordic climate.
The most important goals in our variety development programs are to breed varieties with high and stable production, high quality and strong disease resistance. Future varieties need to be adapted to predicted climatic changes, along with consumer preferences and environmental requirements. These include reduced pesticide usage, lower emissions of greenhouse gases and increased CO2-binding in soil and plants.
Plant breeding takes time, capital investment, knowledge, and competence. Depending on the species, development of a new variety takes between 10 to 25 years of work from the first crossing until the new variety is officially approved. The challenge is to predict the market needs and trends for the future.
Our breeding work consists of a combination of traditional methods and new technology. The work is a combination of the traditional methods of crossing, selection and testing over several years. Simultaneously, biotechnological and molecular biological methods are used to assist, improve, and to streamline crossing and field work. We are continuously evaluating and implementing new technologies, routines, and selection methods. These are aimed at increasing the speed and quality of the development of new and improved varieties. Graminor is involved in many research and development projects and collaborates at an international level with other scientific research organisations and institutes.
Graminor’s most important market is in Norway and our main goal is to breed new plant varieties that will increase Norwegian food production based on Norwegian resources. We endeavour to give the Norwegian farmer access to the best varieties for their local conditions and to give them a simpler and more predictable production. More than half the cereals and forage crops sown in Norway are of varieties from Graminor.
Graminor aims to strengthen the export of our own varieties. We hold a significant market share for barley in Finland, along with a share in the oat and wheat markets. Norwegian cereals were grown on a larger area in Finland than in Norway during 2015. Sweden and the Baltic countries are also important export markets for Graminor due to their similar climatic conditions to Norway.
Graminor work within three main business areas:
Plant breeding is the most important work undertaken at Graminor. With the development of new varieties of cereals, potatoes, forage crops, fruit and berries we contribute to ensuring a sustainable Nordic food production. The yield growth for cereal is calculated as a one percent increase per year as the result of better plant material and varieties.
Graminor run breeding programs within forage crops, fruit, berries, and potatoes on assignment from the Norwegian state. With this, the state aims to ensure the development of varieties that are adapted to the growth conditions in different parts of the country. This contributes to ensuring Norwegian food production based on Norwegian resources.
In addition to Graminor’s own breeding programs, the company also test and represent foreign plant varieties. The testing of foreign varieties is undertaken to ensure that such varieties are suitable for the Norwegian climatic and environmental conditions. Varieties that conform to the Norwegian requirements for yield, early ripening, quality, disease resistance and other relevant characteristics are then made available by Graminor to the Norwegian agricultural market.
Representation agreements with foreign breeding companies give Graminor access to new varieties and markets, and the right to sell agreed varieties. The import is done in close collaboration with the seed industry.
Graminor imports and produces pre-base seeds for cereals and forage crops. Graminor is responsible for production of seed potatoes, and elite plants for fruit and berries.
The production takes place in close collaboration with the seed companies for cereals and forage crops. Seed potato propagation is contracted out by Graminor to Overhalla Klonavlssenter AS. Sagaplant AS undertakes production of elite plants and raw materials for strawberries, raspberries, and fruit on assignment from Graminor.