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
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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.
KeywordsVariety 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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