The Institute for Cereal and Oil Crops (ICOC), Hebei Academy of Agriculture and Forestry Sciences (HAAFS) was jointly established in May 1970 by Institute for Garden-style Farmland of HAAFS which was founded in 1958 (later renamed as Institute of Tillage and Irrigation) and Institute for Food Crops which was founded in 1963. It was named as Institute of Agricultural Sciences in 1970, and then renamed as Crop Research Institute in 1972 affiliated to Hebei Agriculture Bureau. In 1974, the Institute was put to the administration of HAAFS, and in 1984 it was formally renamed as the Institute for Cereal and Oil Crops, Hebei Academy of Agriculture and Forestry Sciences.
ICOC is concentrated in breeding of cereal, cotton and oil crops, germplasm resources innovation and biotechnology application, crop cultivation, weed control, dairy cattle genetic improvement and feed research and development, and rural science and technology service. Since 1978, more than 110 crop varieties have been developed and approved by national or provincial variety approval committee, of which about 50 was approved by national committee. ICOC has won about 200 achievements awards, of which more than 50 achievements won the second or above-second prize of provincial and ministerial level, and has published more than 1200 research papers and 40 academic monographs. From the beginning of the 11th five-year plan, ICOC has won 45 achievements in which 2 was awarded as the second prize of National Progress, 6 and 15 achievements was awarded as the first and second prize of provincial and ministerial progress respectively, and 68 crop varieties passed the national and provincial certification. ICOC was ranked respectively for four times among the national top 100 institutes in the assessment of comprehensive strength by ministry of agriculture during the period of 7th five-year plan, the 8th five-year plan, the 10th five-year plan, and the 11th five-year plan.
Currently, ICOC has 122 staff, of which 36 is professors and 30 is associate professors, and 18 holds doctorial degree and 31 has master degree. There is one academician candidate, one outstanding professional and technical personnel of Hebei Province, six experts with title of provincial outstanding experts, 15 experts enjoy the State Council special allowance, one expert with the title of outstanding contribution to the nation, 18 experts with the title of outstanding contribution the province. 12 experts are among the first and second level of three level talents program of Hebei Province. 17 experts are the chief scientists of the academic innovation team of HAAFS.
There are 5 research centers, such as wheat, corn, soybean, dairy cattle, and agricultural resources preservation, 7 research groups such as peanut, cotton, edible bean, sweet potato, crop cultivation, weed control, and 2 field experimental stations of sesame and dairy cattle. Every year, ICOC undertakes more than 100 projects supported by the State and the Province.
Many platforms for science and technology innovation have been developed in the Institute, such as Shijiazhuang Branch of the National Soybean Improvement Center of the Ministry of Agriculture, Hebei Province Corn Regional Technological Innovation Center of the Ministry of Agriculture, Key Laboratory of the Ministry of Agriculture for Soybean Biology and Genetics Breeding, Experiment Station of Ministry of Agriculture for Maize in North China Plain, Hebei Scientific Observation and Experiment Station for Crop Genetic Resources and Germplasm Creation of the Ministry of Agriculture, Hebei Scientific and Experimental Station for Crop Cultivation in North China, Huanghuaihai Test and Industrialization Base of Transgenic Soybean, Pilot Experiment Station of Transgenic Corn of Shijiazhuang, Transgenic Wheat Test Station of Hebei Academy of Agricultural and Forestry Sciences, Laboratory of Crop genetics and Breeding in Hebei Province, Agricultural Resources Conservation Center of Hebei Province, Quality Inspection Center of Crop Varieties in Hebei Province, and Dairy Cattle Research Center of Hebei Academy of Agricultural and Forestry Sciences. In addition, the Lab of Edible Bean Genetics and Breeding of the National Modern Agricultural Industry Technology System, the Comprehensive Research Station of Corn, Sweet potato, Sesame and Dairy Cattle are also affiliated to the Institute. The total laboratory area of the Institute covers more than 3000 square meters. The institute has more than 680 sets of instruments and equipment worth totally more than 270 million Yuan. There are two field experimental stations, Dishang Station in Gaocheng with 1240 mu and Sanya Station in Hainan Province with 60 mu respectively. ICOC has developed a complete research system in field of crop genetics breeding, crop production management and research of new agricultural technology.
ICOC has research cooperation, personnel training and exchanges with the scientific research institutions of the United States, Holland, Mexico, Canada, Australia, Japan, Thailand, and so on. Besides, ICOC has also built scientific research cooperation and exchange relations with Chinese Academy of Sciences, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, China Agricultural University, and Nanjing Agricultural University and employed 19 part-time or visiting professors.
ICOC adheres to the idea of “underpinning the institute by research, serving agriculture, farmer and rural areas, people foremost, and striving for the top”, carries out application research and actively develop basic research in the advantage areas, focuses on building innovation system of science and technology of crop genetics breeding, germplasm resources innovation and biotechnology application, crop cultivation, weed control, dairy cattle genetic improvement and feed research and development to provide scientific and technological support for the development of agricultural production in the province.