Welsh Plant Breeding Station.

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Welsh Plant Breeding Station.

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The Welsh Plant Breeding Station (WPBS) was established in 1919, largely thanks to a gift from Lord Milford. Its first Director was Sir R. George Stapledon (1882-1960), Professor of Agricultural Botany at University College of Wales Aberystwyth. The Station collected plants from the best of Britain's natural fattening pastures for its breeding programme. The best-known and longest lasting was S23, first released in 1933 and deleted from the National List on 1st November 1993. In 1933, a gift from Sir Julian Cahn established the Cahn Hill Improvement Scheme at Cwmystwyth, Cardiganshire, concentrating on methods of establishing productive hill pastures. This project was taken over by the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food to become the Pwllpeiran Experimental Husbandry Farm, now Agricultural Development and Advisory Services (ADAS). The Station's first home was in the Agricultural Buildings, Alexandra Road, Aberystwyth; it moved in 1940 to the new Agricultural Research Building, Penglais, Aberystwyth, and finally transferred, in 1953, to Plas Gogerddan, north of Aberystwyth, when the Plant Genetics Department was created. Its aim was to research the inheritance of physiological characteristics affecting crop production. From 1964-1983, work on establishing hill pastures was based at the Pant y Dwr Research Centre near Rhayader, Radnorshire. The upland work expanded with the acquisition of Bronydd Mawr, Brecknockshire, in 1983. Grant aided by the Agricultural and Food Research Council (AFRC) since 1956, the WPBS finally became an AFRC Station in 1987. With the Grassland Research Institute, parts of the National Institute for Research in Dairying, and the Poultry Research Institute, now respectively the Animal and Grassland Research Stations of Hurley, Shinfield and Roslin, it became the new AFRC Institute of Grassland and Animal Production (IGAP). The Institute's administrative headquarters then moved to Gogerddan in 1989. A year later, the Institute changed its name to the Institute of Grassland and Environmental Research (IGER).

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