Research at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln

loading the 2013-2014 Report

Research at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln

2013-2014 Report

Agreement Aims to Improve Soybeans

An agreement between UNL and industry leader Bayer CropScience aims to develop new soybean traits and boost yields to meet growing global food demands.

NUtech Ventures, UNL’s commercialization arm, and Bayer announced a nonexclusive licensing agreement in August 2013, giving Bayer access to UNL’s soybean germplasm, the genetic material used to develop new varieties. The agreement provides support for UNL research and education programs and an endowed professorship provided by the Nebraska Soybean Board.

The Nebraska Soybean Board, which has long funded UNL’s soybean research, received a share of proceeds from the agreement. The board invested $3 million to create the Presidential Chair in Soybean Breeding at UNL. UNL soybean breeder George Graef, an expert in developing soybean germplasm and cultivars, is the first to hold this endowed chair.

George Graef
George Graef


“It is with support from the soybean growers through the Nebraska Soybean Board that we have been able to develop the high-quality soybean breeding program that we have today,” Graef said.

UNL has a long record of releasing high-yielding varieties, said Chris Tinius, Bayer’s global soybean breeding director. “By showcasing our traits in these super varieties, we hope to bring even greater value to soybean farmers across the Midwest.”

Economic benefits for Nebraska could be substantial. In 2013, Nebraska produced more than 252 million bushels of soybeans worth over $3 billion, according to USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service.

UNL and Bayer signed an agreement involving wheat breeding in 2010.