Sha'ar Ha'amakim Seeds Ltd. specializes in breeding, production and marketing of confectionary sunflower planting seeds. The Company has unique and advanced breeding experience and possesses a genetic collection of confectionary sunflowers. We carry knowledge of more than 50 years, breeding and producing sunflowers.
The Company focuses on constantly improving our varieties. The genetic material of our varieties, exhibits a global uniqueness of seed length and width (and thus seed weight).
Since 2010, most of our Company R&D resources have been directed at developing hybrid varieties of confectionary sunflower.
Our breeding goal is to create large-size kernels, uniform in both size and color, with improved yields of high-quality seeds focusing on the development of resistance to Orobanche spp. and on resistance to herbicides from the Imidazolinone group (IMI).
The Company produces its seeds in the Kibbutz fields and with other growers in Israel. The seeds are processed at the plant in the Kibbutz. The Company cooperates extensively with the growers and with the Extension Officers from the Ministry of Agriculture in Israel and the planting seeds are marketed both in Israel and abroad.
Sha'ar Ha'amakim Seeds is Israel's leading Seed Company in development, production and marketing of confectionary sunflower seeds. Based on its good name and reputation, Sha'ar Ha'amakim Seeds will continue efforts to become a significant player with emphasis on uniqueness and seed quality.
Kibbutz Sha'ar Ha'amakim was established in 1935, situated between the Zevulun and Yizrael Valleys in northern part of Israel.
During the middle of the last century, About 70 years ago, a Kibbutz member, Daniel Yitzhaki (1913-1998), an inquisitive and self-taught man, began to focus on breeding sunflower plant (Helianthus annuus) as a confectionary crop (for human consumption). His intention was to make this crop an integral part of summer field crops grown in Israel. Yitzhaki set himself to attain three objectives from this new cultivated crop:
- To create a compact plant with a short stem (90 -160cm), low water requirements and suited to mechanical harvesting by the combine harvesters of that time.
- To increase the diameter of the flower face, thus raising the yield.
- To improve the quality of the kernels, With longer, wider and heavier kernels than any other commercial varieties.
These features, together with resistance to diseases, pests and parasites, are still the basic traits for breeding new varieties today.
It took Yitzhaki about 10 years to release the first variety DY1 ('DY' for Daniel Yitzhaki and '1' for one centimeter kernel length), followed by DY2, and then by DY3 that was released about 25 years ago and registered as "Daniel ".
Over the years, the Breeding, Production and Marketing of seeds has become a stand-alone branch of the agricultural activity of the Kibbutz. Company personnel continue to improve the performance of the genetics and switched to breed hybrids for better results.
In 2013, commercial seed was first marketed from the two hybrid "EMEK1" and "EMEK 3", from "Emek" series, were marketed - the first hybrids series of "Sha'ar Ha'amakim Seeds Ltd.