For all crops, organic agriculture requires robust varieties which are suitable for cultivation without the use of artificial adjuvantssynthetic chemicals and which have been raised according to the principles of organic plant production. In our pioneering programme, we breed and test clover and grasses under organic cultivation conditions.
Organic agriculture strives for an integral system in which seed is as far as possible produced according to the principles of organic farming. This goal comes closest to being achieved when breeding as well as seed production takes place under organic conditions. In this respect, Agroscope's forward-lookingvisionary project assumes a unique pioneering role with forage plants. The project consists of the following:
Creation of an organic breeding programme for forage -plant species which are important for organic agriculture in Switzerland: stipulation of the species to be worked on and the breeding goals, choice of suitable breeding material from Agroscope breeding programmes, selection and performance test under organic conditions.
Support of organic seed production for the best- adapted varieties of forage plants: seed- production trials conducted under organic conditions, compilation of species- and variety- specific recommendations for domestic organic- seed production.
Promotion of awareness of forage- plant varieties among organic farmers and their organisations: determining of the mixtures preferred by organic farmers and the associated demands made of the varieties; enforcement of requirements placed on the AGFF Quality Label for Organic Mixtures.