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Three new soft winter wheat varieties for organic production

Three soft winter wheat varieties resulting from the breeding programme conducted by INRA and Agri-Obtentions have been proposed for registration on List A of the French Official Catalogue after specific experiments conducted under organic conditions: two superior bread-making wheats and, for the first time, an organic biscuit-making variety.

blé tendre d'hiver bio nouvelle variété. © INRA
Updated on 03/28/2019
Published on 12/10/2018

After Hendrix and Skerzzo in 2011, Geny, Grafic and Gwastell are the names of these new, pure line varieties bred specifically for organic farmers. They result from the breeding programme carried out by INRA and Agri-Obtentions and have been proposed for registration on List A of the French Official Catalogue. In the context of this programme – one of the largest in Europe – more than 300 different lines are screened each year for organic use and tested by a multi-site network of trials involving more than 1400 micro-plots.

Twelve years of breeding and experimentation

Created by INRA in Rennes and Clermont-Ferrand, these new varieties were first selected under very low input conditions before moving on to organic use. Based on generation F9 (9 years after crossing), they were trialled by a network of four organically-farmed sites.  Studies for three years were then able to confirm their agronomic and technological performance (bread or biscuit making).  They were proposed and then validated for registration on List A of the French Official Catalogue of varieties that can be propagated and commercialised in France and Europe.

During two campaigns (2017 and 2018 harvests), the French Variety and Seed Study and Control Group (GEVES) coordinated official evaluation of their Agronomic, Technical and Environmental Value (ATEV) under organic conditions. The eight year-long trials[1] were conducted alongside work by the network for the varietal screening of organic straw cereals managed by the French Research Institute for Organic Farming (ITAB).

This programme has confirmed the need for evaluation under organic conditions and for a system of catalogue registration adapted to the demands of specialised organic producers. The next step will be to experiment with the new candidate lines and ensure the development of an evaluation system for the French Permanent Technical Committee for the Selection of Cultivated Plants (CTPS) managed by the GEVES with support from the ITAB, in view of a regular flow of registrations for organic crops. A new line will also be in its second years of organic trials for the CTPS in 2019.

Geny (INRA code CF11007), Grafik (RE12037) and Gwastell (RE13093).

Go to the GEVES website for more information on the Group and the 33 new varieties of straw cereals, by clicking here.

[1] This work benefited from support from numerous experimenters who monitored the trials (Agriculture Bio Normandie (ABN), Arvalis - Institut du Végétal (station d’Ouzouër le Marché), Chambers of Agriculture in Nord-Pas-de-Calais, Somme, Ile de France and Pays de la Loire, Agri-Obtentions and the INRA-Agrocampus Ouest-Université de Rennes I Institute for Genetics, the Environment and Plant Protection -UMR IGEPP) and the INRA La Motte au Vicomte Experimental Farm (Bretagne-Normandie Research Centre) as well as the farmers who made their plots available. The Ministry of Agriculture supported the process by participating in covering the costs of experimentation under organic conditions.

Scientific contact(s):

Associated Centre(s):
Hauts-de-France , Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes