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Urgent need for new apple breeding methods better adapted to low-input agro ecosystems

WARLOP, FRANCOIS; LATEUR, MARC and DAPENA, ENRIQUE (2010) Urgent need for new apple breeding methods better adapted to low-input agro ecosystems. Keynote presentation at: Breeding for resilience: a strategy for organic and low-input farming systems?, Paris, 1-3 dec. 2010. [In Press]

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Due to its perennial statute, fruit sector is the first consumer of plant protection products per hectare. This may also be a direct consequence of a historical cultivar selection that neglected the tree rusticity for years, and mostly encouraged high yield, common quality and aesthetical properties. The ecological footprint of fruit cultivation is therefore very high, and not sustainable. Many fungicides and insecticides shall be used, even in organic farming, to face sanitary problems. Considering the time necessary to create new cultivars, an urgent change of paradigm is needed. The French Ministry recently launched a mission involving many scientists active in this field, to start integrating environmental purposes into the vegetal selection devices. Discussion is ongoing, and may lead to major changes in the current organization of the French system. Some experiment already started in Belgium, Spain or France to provide more suitable cultivars, meanwhile decreasing the fruit production cost, as cultivars should require less attention in the orchard. It appears that evaluation of the cultivars shall be made at the basin scale, and not for a whole country, since their behaviour is variable, and characteristics (such as adaptation to climate change) may not be suitable everywhere. Fruit growers could also be part of the selection process as they better know the key-points to keep or reject a new hybrid. One could think of a core group of growers and technicians, skilled in hybridization, for a first screening of seedlings in a limited number of orchards, and a second wider group, active in a second step on a shorter screening but in more diversified places.

EPrint Type:Conference paper, poster, etc.
Type of presentation:Keynote presentation
Keywords:Fruit breeding, organic farming, low-input, hardiness, disease tolerance
Subjects: Crop husbandry > Production systems > Fruit and berries
Crop husbandry > Breeding, genetics and propagation
Research affiliation:Belgium > Centre Wallon de Recherche Agronomique (CRA-W) (Gembloux)
Spain > Other organizations
France > GRAB - Groupe de Recherche en Agriculture biologique
France > INRA - Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique
France > Other organizations
Deposited By: WARLOP, François
ID Code:18101
Deposited On:25 Nov 2010 19:00
Last Modified:25 Nov 2010 19:00
Document Language:English
Status:In Press
Refereed:Not peer-reviewed

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