Locally adapted cereal cultivars in organic farming

Last changed: 06 December 2023

For quality in production and product

Project responsible: Eva Johansson, Department of Plant Breeding, SLU.
Project group: Hans Larsson, Department of Plant Breeding, SLU and Lennart Karlsson, Ekhaga research station, SLU.

Consumer demand in Sweden as well as in many countries around the world, is increasing as related to quality food, including organically produced food. For quality food, both the issues of how the crop has been grown, i.e. in a resource effective way and without for the environment harmful use of chemicals, and what nutritionally and health related values the food holds, has increased in importance lately. Further, transportation of food as related to a desire to consume locally produced food is an issue as well for the consumers. Thus, the aware consumer often prefers locally and organically produced food also with added value in terms of highly nutritious food that adds to health.

Organically produced food is of interest for those consumers of several reasons; it is thought to result in a more balanced cultivation of crops with improved plant nutrition values and lower energy consumption and decreased negative climatic influences.

Within the hereby applied project, we aim at increasing the option for sustainable cultivation of locally adopted cereals through organic cultivation. Four different localities will be used for the cultivation and our material will be included as part of the normally used crop rotation systems at each farm, mostly stable manure will be used. The plant material (around 50 cultivars) will be evaluated as related to adaptation and performance on each of the localities by the use of:

  • grading of overwintering capacities,
  • growth rythms,
  • and diseases.

Further, the quality of the cultivars will be evaluated using

  • falling number,
  • protein content,
  • thousand kernel weight,
  • volume weight and
  • essential minerals.

Within other projects, additional quality parameters will be evaluated within the material, such as baking quality, essential amino acids, antioxidants, heavy metals etc. The project is expected on a long term scale to lead to increased opportunities to recommend cultivars for local production of organic cereals for food production in different parts of Sweden.