Second Nature Research, LLC (SNR) is a Yuma, Arizona based company formed by Barkley Seed, Inc. to facilitate its small grains research efforts following the acquisition of Monsanto Company’s durum wheat research program in August 2014.
The main focus of SNR will be to develop high-quality, high-yielding, and identity-preserved durum wheat varieties for planting in the desert southwest. It will continue the desert-adapted breeding program that began in Arizona in 1976 as Western Plant Breeders, Inc. which later flourished as WestBred, LLC under the ownership of Barkley Seed, Inc. before WestBred was sold to Monsanto Company in 2009.
The durum germplasm originally developed and tested by the re-acquired program resulted in the release of numerous varieties that changed how durum grown in the southwestern desert is marketed. Varieties such as WestBred 881, Kofa, Tacna, Havasu, WB-Mead, WB-Mohave, and Orita have raised the bar for yield and quality to levels that are envied by durum producers and consumers around the world.
Second Nature Research, LLC is committed to developing new varieties that will maximize farm gate value to the grower. We still maintain the philosophy that the quality of our desert durum wheat results from an interaction between our desert environment and excellent genetics.
Breeding efforts for Second Nature Research, LLC are directed in Yuma, Arizona by Donny Gray. Gray has been working with the Desert Durum germplasm base since early 2006, formerly under long-time breeding program leader Kim Shantz. Gray is a graduate of the University of Arizona with a B.S. in Ag System Management and a minor in Crop Production. He is also a graduate of the Plant Breeding Program at the University of California, Davis.