Organic Agriculture

, Volume 7, Issue 1, pp 73–81 | Cite as

From selection to cultivation with the support of all stakeholders: the first registration in France of two winter bread wheat varieties after value for cultivation and use evaluation in organic farming systems

  • B. RollandEmail author
  • L. Fontaine
  • A. Mailliard
  • O. Gardet
  • E. Heumez
  • P. Walczak
  • A. Le Campion
  • F.-X. Oury


Winter bread wheat is the most important cash crop for French organic farmers. The choice of its varieties farmers cultivate is therefore very important. Most of the available varieties were initially bred for intensive “conventional” farming systems (with high inputs of mineral fertilizers and pesticides). Thus, screening current and novel varieties for organic conditions is necessary to identify varieties suitable for organic farming conditions in a short-term experiment. After 18 years of breeding and screening in a combination of both low input and organic crop management systems, the two pure lines Hendrix and Skerzzo were registered in the official French catalogue with the special mention “organic farming.” The acreages of commercial seed production to be sold to organic farmers continuously increased from 120, 139 to 160 ha in 2013, 2014, and 2015, respectively. This successful process was made possible due to the support of the whole agricultural organic economic sector associated with the initiative.


Variety Winter bread wheat Plant breeding Value for cultivation and use (VCU) Organic farming 



French millers organization


French bread-making quality test (NFV03-716)


Superior bread-making wheat


French Permanent Technical Committee for the Selection of Cultivated Plants


Variety and Seed Study and Control Group


Grain protein deviation


French National Institute for Agricultural Research


Integrated pest management


French Technical Institute of Organic Farming


Residual standard error


Value for cultivation and use



We gratefully acknowledge all farmers, organizations, and people who managed the organic variety trials: Chambres d’agriculture (Maine-et-Loire, Nord-Pas-de-Calais, Ile-de-France, and Picardie), Arvalis-Institut du Végétal (Jeu-les-Bois and Ouzouer-le-Marché), GRAB Haute-Normandie, Biocer, INRA (UE Auzeville, Lusignan, Le Moulon, Rennes, and UMR Rennes), and Agri-Obtentions farm in Orsonville.

CPER Etat-Bretagne has supported this program since 2002. Thank you to Gaël Le Trionnaire for English writing advice and to Leigh Gebbie for final English proof reading. We also thank the two anonymous reviewers for their valuable advice.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • B. Rolland
    • 1
    Email author
  • L. Fontaine
    • 2
  • A. Mailliard
    • 3
  • O. Gardet
    • 4
  • E. Heumez
    • 5
  • P. Walczak
    • 6
  • A. Le Campion
    • 1
  • F.-X. Oury
    • 7
  1. 1.INRAUMR1349 IGEPPLe RheuFrance
  2. 2.ITAB, Institut Technique de l’Agriculture BiologiqueAngers Cedex 02France
  3. 3.GEVES, Groupe d’Etudes des Variétés et des Semences SEVLa PouezeFrance
  4. 4.Agri-ObtentionsGuyancourtFrance
  5. 5.INRAUE Grandes Cultures Innovation EnvironnementEstrées-MonsFrance
  6. 6.INRAUE Fourrages et EnvironnementLusignanFrance
  7. 7.INRAUMR 1095 GDECClermont-FerrandFrance

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