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Developments in breeding cereals for organic agriculture

Wolfe, M.S.; Baresel, J.P.; Desclaux, D.; Goldringer, I.; Hoad, S.; Kovacs, G.; Löschenberger, F.; Miedaner, T.; Østergard, H. and Lammerts van Bueren, E.T. (2008) Developments in breeding cereals for organic agriculture. Euphytica (163), pp. 323-346.

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Summary

The need for increased sustainability of performance in cereal varieties, particularly in organic agriculture (OA), is limited by the lack of varieties adapted to organic conditions. Here, the needs for breeding are reviewed in the context of three major marketing types, global, regional, local, in European OA. Currently, the effort is determined, partly, by the outcomes from trials that compare varieties under OA and CA (conventional agriculture) conditions. The differences are sufficiently large and important to warrant an increase in appropriate breeding. The wide range of environments within OA and between years, underlines the need to try to select for specific adaptation in target environments. The difficulty of doing so can be helped by decentralised breeding with farmer participation and the use of crops buffered by variety mixtures or populations. Varieties for OA need efficient nutrient uptake and use and weed competition. These and other characters need to be considered in relation to the OA cropping system over the whole rotation. Positive interactions are needed, such as early crop vigour for nutrient uptake, weedcompetition and disease resistance. Incorporation of all characteristics into the crop can be helped by diversification within the crop, allowing complementation and compensation among plants. Although the problems of breeding cereals for organic farming systems are large, there is encouraging progress. This lies in applications of ecology to organic crop production, innovations in plant sciences, and the realisation that such progress is central to both OA and CA, because of climate change and the increasing costs of fossil fuels.


EPrint Type:Journal paper
Keywords:BÖL, BOEL, FKZ 03OE600, Direct and indirect selection, Variety testing, Participatory plant breeding, Wide and specific adaptation, Crop diversity, Organic agriculture
Subjects: Food systems > Food security, food quality and human health
Crop husbandry > Breeding, genetics and propagation
Research affiliation: Germany > Federal Organic Farming Scheme - BOELN > Plants > Pflanzenzüchtung
Germany > University of Hohenheim > State Plant Breeding Institute
Related Links:http://www.bundesprogramm-oekolandbau.de, http://www.bundesprogramm.de/fkz=03OE600, http://orgprints.org/perl/search/advanced?addtitle%2Ftitle=&keywords=03OE600&projects=BOEL&_order=bypublication&_action_search=Suchen
Deposited By: Miedaner, Dr. Thomas
ID Code:15284
Deposited On:28 Jan 2009
Last Modified:12 Apr 2010 07:38
Document Language:English
Status:Published
Refereed:Peer-reviewed and accepted

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