REGINA, SASKATCHEWAN, CANADA and ADELAIDE, AUSTRALIA — Viterra Inc. announced on May 19 that it will be conducting trials this year to test several new XCEED canola hybrid varieties.

The varieties have been developed using a new hybrid system that recently received regulatory clearance in Canada. The hybrid technology is a CMS sterility system that Viterra has adapted for use in this canola species, allowing it to economically produce commercial hybrids that are higher yielding and more adaptable to a range of growing conditions.

Viterra produced a number of first-generation hybrid combinations through winter production fields in Chile last winter, with trials taking place this growing season across Western Canada, North Dakota and Australia. The hybrids will carry the Clearfield system, which provides a non-GMO herbicide tolerance option for growers.

"Through our innovative research and development efforts, we continue to develop high performing seed varieties tailored to specific growing conditions. XCEED canola hybrids are expected to carry the same heat and drought tolerance found in non-hybrids, as well as improved shattering resistance that makes them well-suited to direct harvesting," said Doug Wonnacott, Viterra's senior vice-president, Agri-products. "These varieties will further expand the zones where canola can be routinely produced, providing farmers with another cropping option. It will also provide destination customers additional supply options for high quality canola oil and meal."

Viterra has a strong Canadian program of developing canola quality XCEED from its vast Brassica juncea germplasm library. In addition, the company has also recently expanded its Australian based program through its acquisition of Brassica juncea germplasm jointly developed with Agriculture Victoria Services Pty Ltd, the commercial arm of the state of Victoria's Department of Primary Industries.

"Viterra has a long history of developing this new crop that is well-suited to Australian growing conditions. We look forward to commercializing XCEED hybrids in the near future, and further supporting the sustainability of Australia's grain industry," said Peter Davey, executive manager, Agri-products in Australia.

Viterra is working towards a global launch in Canada, the U.S. and Australia of its first XCEED hybrids in 2013.