Organic wheat variety testing on-farm network, Switzerland

The Research Institute of Organic Agriculture FiBL evaluates promising wheat varieties of Swiss and non-Swiss origin for at least two years in its wheat-testing on-farm network, which is now 15 years old.

For bread wheat, 8 varieties are tested on organic farms in strip trials under the farm's usual management with the reference variety being Wiwa. Additionally, we test feed varieties on three farms.

The network ranges from northeastern Switzerland around Frauenfeld down to southwest around Lausanne. The farming systems are typical ones in the region with and without animal husbandry, different climates, high and low input systems, and different levels of crop diversification in the crop rotation. Twenty percent of the crop rotation is temporary medadow. The results of these on-farm trials are used for the list of recommended wheat varieties.

The FiBL trials are carried out additionally to the  Agroscope trials, which are pre-trials in small plots with replications. Every year Agroscope tests 12-16 varieties on 8 plots, thus helping FiBL to select the best varieties, which FiBL then tests in strips.