Plant breeding and research at the Keyserlingk-Institute
Today's breeding objectives and breeding methods in conventional agriculture are less and less in line with the ideals and requirements of organic farming. Therefore, it is necessary to set up alternatives and to develop own breeding methods and quality criteria. Plant breeding at the Keyserlingk-Institute therefore not only takes into account the potential for cultivation and processing quality: in its own research projects, aspects of food quality are also being developed.
Development of site-adapted winter wheat varieties
Our main concern is the development of site-adapted winter wheat varieties for the Lake Constance region and locations with similar conditions. New varieties have been developed from selections out of biodynamic ´farm varieties´. By selecting individual ears of wheat in the mature field, new breeding lines are created, which have to be tested and subsequently selected over several years. So far, new varieties have emerged that are cultivated now (not only) in the Lake Constance region.
Currently, a research project is being pursued that aims to identify cultivars that are better digestible by people with wheat or gluten sensitivity.
Our regional varieties Hermion, Kamperan, Triptolemo, Karneol, Goldritter and Alauda are officially recognized as ´conservation varieties´ (Erhaltungssorte).
Breeding of durum wheat for pasta production is pursued by crossing frost hardiness from emmer and rivet wheat in older, traditional durum wheat varieties from Italy.
Wild cereal Dasypyrum villosum
Another research and breeding impulse is the "Wildgrasveredlung": the attempt to take grasses into culture and adapt them by selection to farming conditions. This is due to a suggestion of R. Steiner, who saw the food quality of today's crops at risk. We are therefore dealing with the "wild cereal" Dasypyrum villosum, a grass from southern Europe, which is botanically classified between rye and wheat.
In order to promote the profitability of local lentil cultivation, varieties are developed at the Keyserlingk-Institute that are suitable in terms of their abilities for cultivation and furthermore in their qualitative characteristics to assert themselves in the corresponding niche market. Improvements in agronomic characteristics are to be achieved, but attention is also paid to food quality, such as cooking and flavor properties.