NU Horizon Genetics now supplies UNL-developed small-grain seed varieties

by Geitner Simmons | IANR Communications

nebraska wheat
NU Horizon Genetics now supplies UNL-developed small-grain seed varieties
July 7, 2023

Lincoln, Neb. —NU Horizon Genetics is now a supplier of University of Nebraska-Lincoln-developed small grain seed varieties to seed growers and affiliates.  

NU Horizon Genetics will promote, market and commercialize the certified seed of wheat, barley and triticale varieties developed and released by UNL, and licensed through NUtech Ventures, the technology transfer office of UNL. Recent releases include the irrigated wheat variety Epoch and new barley and triticale varieties. 

Seed dealers interested in obtaining the UNL varieties for certified seed sales can contact NU Horizon Genetics at and (402) 540-9359.  

The Nebraska Crop Improvement Association (NCIA), a not-for-profit, membership-based corporation that formerly handled access to UNL varieties, has relinquished its licensing agreement in order to focus on its primary mission of seed certification and testing. 

NU Horizon Genetics is a non-profit 501(c)(5) membership-based marketing group composed of certified seed growers/conditioners in Nebraska created primarily to support and promote the elite varieties developed by the Small Grains Improvement Program at UNL.  

The leadership of NU Horizon Genetics is a board of directors with years of experience in providing high-quality certified seed to producers in Nebraska and the surrounding states. The board members are Chris Cullan, Cullan Seed Farms, Hemingford; Leon Kriesel, Kriesel Certified Seed, Gurley; Mark Knobel, Knobel Seeds, Fairbury; Eric Nelson, Mead; and Steve Baenziger, emeritus small grains breeder at UNL. Rick Dunbar, Dunbar Seed, Eustis, deceased, was a board member until his passing earlier in 2023. 

Jeff Noel is the executive director of NU Horizon Genetics. 

Starting this fall, NU Horizon Genetics will be responsible for collecting royalties and remitting them to NUtech Ventures for all seeds accessed through the NU Horizon Genetics’ licensing agreement.  

NU Horizon Genetics has completed the agreement with BASF to market and commercialize Clearfield Wheat Varieties including the lines developed and released by UNL. 

NCIA will collect royalties and remit them to NUtech Ventures from certified seed when sold from seed that was accessed during the fall of 2022 through the NCIA licensing agreement.  

UNL has over a century of developing small grain varieties through the work of the university and state’s small grain breeders beginning in the early 1900s. The project was led by John Schmidt beginning in the 1950s. He was succeeded by Baenziger, and since 2021 the work has been directed by small grains breeder Katherine Frels, assistant professor of agronomy and horticulture. UNL “produces top-tier wheat, barley and triticale varieties,” Frels said, “but sometimes it can be challenging to get those varieties marketed in the regions where they will be most successful. This new partnership with NU Horizon Genetics will help us optimize our testing, marketing and seed availability to get our new varieties into producers' fields throughout Nebraska and the High Plains region. We are excited for this opportunity to build new relationships in the Nebraska seed industry.” 

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