Seed World

How to Respond to Climate Issues as a Seed Company?

Business Development and Digital Transformation,

An agricultural engineer, Jean-Pierre Dufourcq began his career at Semences Cargill before joining the Seeds Division as Marketing Director Europe. Today in charge of Business Development and Digital Transformation, he leads different projects aimed at transforming the customer experience.

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In 2050, the world’s population will be 9 billion people. Feeding the planet will need to adapt to global warming and its consequences. Agriculture is at the heart of this context.

Research in all its dimensions appears to be a major challenge for collective responses to climate issues. In the seed sector, Euralis Semences wants to contribute in meeting this challenge activating two main leverages: plant genetic research and development of services for farmers. In response to temperature variations, Euralis is developing a multi-crop strategy (based on Corn-Sunflower-Winter Oilseed Rape-Soybean-Sorghum), including the development of traditional crops from the South. For example, cultivation of sorghum is of highly significant agronomic interest in dry conditions. This is an innovative and profitable crop in animal feed, biogas, silage and other industrial applications. In particular, Euralis Semences has developed a range of grain varieties perfectly suited to continental climates.

In the future, all crops will be submitted to climatic stresses (drought, heat etc.). To face them and secure the profit of farmers, breeding is oriented towards less water-consuming and more resistant genetics like Tropical Dent in corn. Technically, in our internal ratings we value the characterisation of hybrids’ behaviour confronted to available water supply.

Climate change may also increase insects, pests or diseases pressure. Euralis ability to bring resistance traits, e.g. mildew-resistance and Orobanche, into leading sunflower varieties, clearly brings security to farmers. The aim is to make sunflower cultivation a sustainable option for the future of crop rotation. Another natural easy leverage is to play through the crop rotation. For example, winter crops such as rapeseed will use water stored in the ground after winter. In soybean, we selected very early varieties that are less sensitive to water stress. On this subject, we have developed a very complete product offer (from 000 to I).

In addition to the genetics, digital decision-making tools is a good way to support farmers by the ability to deal with multiannual complex data regarding fields and weather statistics. Euralis has developed the Click N’ Seed web tool to make personalised diagnosis of their plots in a few clicks, and recommend the best variety profile linked to the meteorological data of more than 15 years within 30 km. Thanks to Click N Seed, each farmer receives a personalised varietal recommendation. The idea is to open up the fields as much as possible to farmers by offering them varieties adapted to climate change and the need for crop rotation.

Being a part of this collective effort by using our expertise and know-how has become a commitment for us. We know that the future of agriculture and farmers must go through this change of mindset initiated nowadays.