Between 1845 and 2005 yields of German wheat production increased more than 6-times to 75,2 dt/ha. Reasons are not only improved agricultural technology, but also particularly plant breeding. In combination with increasing yields, quality improved too. The negative correlation between yield and crude protein still exists. Breeding of new varieties, which takes current diseases into account, leads to a steady or even rising resistance level. High standards of yield, quality, resistance and other traits lead to an increasing breed diversity, which meets farmers demand.
Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi are important for healthy soils and crops. A pan-European study shows that plant-protection products adversely affect these fungi, reducing their ability to supply plants with phosphorus via their roots.
Birdsfoot trefoil and sainfoin are used in mixtures for perennial hay meadows and for tannin-containing fodder. Agroscope is adding two new cultivars of birdsfoot trefoil to the ‘List of Recommended Varieties of Forage Plants’, whilst there is no change in the case of sainfoin.
Tall oat grass and golden oat grass are typical hay-meadow grasses that are also suitable for forage mixtures. Of the four tall and three golden oat grass varieties tested, only one new variety of tall oat grass is likely to make it onto the List of Recommended Varieties.