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Bavaria-Saat - Meeting the Challenges of the Future

We at Bavaria-Saat are adjusting to the constantly changing requirements of the potato market with an extensive new breeding programme. Climate changes, for example, give rise to a demand for potato varieties which can give good results under dry climatic conditions. Special attention is also given to developing varieties with a high resistant a level to viruses.

By using complex maintenance cultivation methods it is possible to maintain the quality of the varieties.

Breeding of New Potato Varieties

The main opjective of the Bavaria-Saat is to breed robust varieties in accordance with the following criteria:
  • High quality food varieties for all harvests
  • Varieties for processing purposes
  • High-yield robust starch potatoes

The following spectrum of resistance categories are of special consideration when selecting varieties for breeding purposes:
  • Broad nematode resistance
  • Resistance to potato wart disease
  • Virus resistance
  • Late blight resistance
  • Resistance to storage diseases
Testing for resistances is partly carried out in cooperation with the Bavarian Central Authority of Agriculture (LfL) in Freising/Weihenstephan. The breeding material is planted outdoors in light soil for the first three years, giving a good basis for selection regarding scab and tolerance in dry conditions.

The cultivation scheme used at Bavaria-Saat:

Year   Scale (approx.)    
         
1.   300 - 400   Crosses
2.   80 - 100.000   Greenhouse seedlings
3.   60 - 70.000   Single plants
4.   3 - 4.000   A - clones
5.   500 - 600   B - clones
6.   80 - 150   C - clones
7.   30 - 50   D - clones
8.   15 - 20   E - clones
9.   2 - 4   Official Classification trial 1, Bundessortenamt
10.   1 - 3   Official Classification trial 2, Bundessortenamt
11.   1-2   Authorization of variety following examination by official standards

The breeding of new varieties is divided between our partner locations and our joint location in Stretense (Mecklenburg/Vorpommern).
Potato Maintenance Cultivation

The extent of the maintenance breeding we carry out depends on the market significance of a particular variety. Bavaria-Saat varieties are propagated exclusively using  in-vitro - cultivation methods.

This work is also done in cooperation with the Bavarian Central Authority of Agriculture. The in-vitro method ensures a completely bacteria and virus-free propagation of new plant material.

Potato Maintenance Cultivation Scheme:

  1. Year Cultivation of in-vitro plants under sterile conditions. Greenhouse cultivation of M1 tubers
  2. Year M2 tubers cultivated in tunnel or under gauze
  3. Year M3 tubers - cultivation under gauze harvest as pre-basic seed
    Years following - Production of seeds class S/SE/E in selected production farms in healthyregions e.g. costal regions in northern Germany
During the first three years of the maintenance breeding process virus infections by  aphids are prevented 100% mechanically. This is done over an area now covering approx. 4.000 m2 gauze tunneling and 14 hectares of gauze sheeting divided between the 4 Bavaria-Saat partner farms. This method considerably reduces the use of insecticides.
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