New varieties of organic common wheat in Aragon.

This report presents the production and quality results of the new organic common wheat varieties, obtained within the framework of the Group for the Evaluation of New Varieties of Extensive Crops in Spain (GENVCE).

This work evaluates the specific adaptation of the varieties to particular climatic conditions, either temperate climates in the south of the Iberian Peninsula versus cold climates in the northern plateau, or arid and semi-arid drylands versus wet drylands or irrigated land, taking into account both the productive aspect and their quality characteristics.

Miguel Gutiérrez is head of the Arable Crops Technical Unit. Centro de Transferencia Agroalimentaria de Aragón and one of the coordinators of GENVCE.


With which varieties have the trials been carried out?

The work carried out in Aragon presented the production and quality results of the new organic common wheat varieties, obtained within the framework of the Group for the Evaluation of New Varieties of Extensive Crops in Spain (GENVCE).

A trial of organic common wheat (Triticum aestivum) with long cycle (winter) and short cycle (spring) has been carried out. During the 2021-2022 season, a total of 22 varieties have been evaluated, of which 10 are winter cycle and 12 are spring cycle, with the control variety NOGAL evaluated in both cycles. The trials have also included traditional wheat varieties such as FLORENCE AURORA and ARAGÓN 03 of different origins and conserved in the Agri-Food Transfer Centre, CTA.


To what extent does the climatic diversity in Aragon influence this type of crop?

The work has been carried out throughout the different seasons, for 5 years now, in the semi-arid and hot drylands of the Cinco Villas in Sádaba, under variable rainfall and temperature conditions, so the adaptation of the varieties has been variable throughout all these years and in no case conclusive, although the response of the plant material has always been more positive in the medium cycles compared to the long ones and to the traditional material when the springs have been wetter and longer. When the springs and conditions have been more extreme, it is the traditional material that is more homogeneous and stable compared to the commercial varieties in production.

It is therefore essential to work over a long series of years in order to be able to gestate more conclusive information.


What could be the highlights in terms of yields and production rates of the different varieties?

Precisely because of the good early spring conditions and before the first heat waves in May, the commercial varieties have generally been the most productive, the medium and long cycles have been more homogeneous. Varieties such as Tocayo, Rufo and Filon have been the most productive with very high yields. Many of these varieties have early ripening stages and can finish their cycles without any problems. In this case, the traditional varieties with Florence Aurora and Aragon 03 have been much less productive, firstly due to the fact that they are better genetically selected by the companies and have a much higher expression of production under these conditions, a fundamental aspect to be able to work in the future.

Another issue to consider is quality, mainly protein. From the results obtained, the traditional varieties together with the spring varieties have had very high protein percentages, over 17% and also high specific weights, over 79 g/L and the commercial varieties of medium and long cycles have had lower percentages, without being low in any of the cases, but the trend observed in these last campaigns confirms this aspect, often independent of the production obtained.


Have you also analysed the agronomic data Do you consider it to be a crop with a future in Aragon?

The future of organic cereal in Aragon, as in other producing areas, depends on the best selection of varieties for the increasingly changing climatic conditions and on the aspects of differentiated marketing.

Knowing that the productive potential is lower than the commercial potential under equal conditions, only the market and the differential price can make this a more attractive crop, as well as the necessary joint marketing, which at the moment is practically non-existent, differentiating qualities and markets, there is still a lot of work to be done in the future.


Download here the report on organic common wheat