How to select varieties for organic farming: science and practice

SP Hoad, DHK Davies, CFE Topp

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Abstract

Selection of cereal varieties suited to organic farming requires a different, but
complementary, approach to that used when developing cereals for conventional high input systems. Selection is based on the interaction between a series of desirable plant and crop characteristics, in particular competitive ability against weeds. Certain key characteristics that are generically desirable for organic cereal varieties include: (1) good establishment ability, (2) high tillering ability, (3) increasing plant height, (4) planophile leaf habit, (5) high leaf index and (6) robustnesses in yield performance across sites.
Our data strongly suggest that high crop ground cover is the most important feature for creating a highly competitive crop that also has consistency in yield. Individual plant or crop traits in (1) to (5) can be used to define plant growth habits. A scheme for assessing growth habits in new varieties is presented.
Original languageEnglish
Pages117-120
Publication statusPrint publication - Sep 2006
EventAspects of Applied Biology 79. What will organic farming deliver? : Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh. 18-20 September 2006. Association of Applied Biologists -
Duration: 18 Sep 200620 Sep 2006

Conference

ConferenceAspects of Applied Biology 79. What will organic farming deliver?
Period18/09/0620/09/06

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    Hoad, SP., Davies, DHK., & Topp, CFE. (2006). How to select varieties for organic farming: science and practice. 117-120. Paper presented at Aspects of Applied Biology 79. What will organic farming deliver? , .