The farmer needs a crop which is easy to manage within whatever farming system he operates, and which reliably produces high yields of good quality grain. The miller, baker or other end user requires that grain to be of consistent quality for ease of processing and to ensure a high quality product which in turn meets the requirements of the consumer.
The first step in breeding a variety is to select parent plants to cross, which between them have the required characteristics for yield, quality, disease resistance and other agronomic features such as lodging resistance.
Selection is made in the field for yield, disease resistance, height, lodging resistance and other agronomic characteristics and in the laboratory using DNA markers and quality tests.
The final part of the breeding programme before a variety is commercialised involves the multiplication of pure seed, a process which begins before the variety registration process commences, to ensure certified seed is available for the market.