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Future subjects

Future subjects

As plant breeders we must look far into the future since the development of a new variety usually takes more than 5 years. We are already trying to predict which properties our products should have in 20 years time, and what the requirements could be in the future.

There are currently 6.78 billion people on Earth and the world population will grow to 9 billion people by 2050. Climate in the future will be marked more and more by weather extremes. Global temperature is rising because of carbon dioxide production. Water and other resources will become a key limitation. Plants must be able to overcome extreme environments and shortage situations in the future. Global warming will change vegetation conditions and increase disease, weed and pest pressure in growing areas.

With specially cultivated varieties that provide heat-resistance, cultivation outside the usual sugar beet growing regions of temperate climate zones could be economically and ecologically sensible, especially considering their lower water requirement compared to sugar cane. Winter beets can also provide greatly increased yield within a short time and facilitate greater production efficiency for sugar factories in Europe. Drought-tolerant sugar beet varieties and grain varieties using less fertilizer will help conserve resources. These topics as well as general stress tolerance are subjects that we are actively exploring in our current research work.