Study of winter wheat (Triticum aestivum) varieties: suitability for organic production
Winter wheat (Triticum aestivum) has a significant role both by production area and importance among crops being produced in organic farms. Hungarian research institutes do not deal separately with organic wheat breeding; seed distributors hold that certain varieties originating from conventional breeding programs are also suitable for organic production. Results of on farm studies provide organic farmers with useful information about the performance of different varieties under their farming conditions. Additionally, wheat breeders and seed distributors get valuable feedback on trail varieties.
We study varieties that were recommended and voluntarily offered by breeders/distributors; control varieties are the ones that are usually produced by participating farmers. At all locations there are two Hungarian and two foreign varieties. All the participant farms are in Eastern Hungary (Jász-Nagykun-Szolnok, Hajdú-Bihar, Békés and Heves Counties).
Adaptability to cultural region and performance under organic farming conditions are studied.
Planned research: by surveys at different phenologic stages, ability to compete against and suppress weeds, general habit and plant pathological reproduction structures are studied.
We evaluate nutrition value of the harvest in laboratory conditions: protein, gluten, falling number. In harvested wheat, we search for reproduction structures of fungi producing mycotoxins and the mycotoxins themselves. At harvest, yields are recorded or estimated.
Research of hulled cereal species and their varieties
Although recently certificated Hungarian hulled cereal varieties (emmer Triticum dicoccum and einkorn Triticum monococcum) are expressly recommended for organic production, they are scarcely known and not widespread. By testing performance of these varieties on organic farms, other producers benefit from our experiences to make a less risky planting choice in the future. In order to estimate species and variety adaptability to different production areas and performance in organic conditions we plan the following research:
- Study of ability to suppress weeds, competativeness and general growth habits through surveys at different phenologic stages
- Study of plant pathological reproduction structures
- Laboratory evaluation of nutrition value: protein, gluten, falling number
- Research of mycotoxins in harvested cereal
- Analysis of yields
- Afterwards, survey of alternative usage (wheat grass juice) and market potentials is also planned.
Test seed was provided to participant farmers by ÖMKi.
The tested varieties:
- Spelt – Frankenkorn, Oberkulmer Rotkorn
- Emmer – MV. Alkor, MV. Menket
- Einkorn – MV. Hegyes