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Use of quality seed as a means to sustainably intensify northern European barley production

  • P. PELTONEN-SAINIO (a1) and A. RAJALA (a1)

Summary

Rates of commercial certified seed (CCS) use are low, but comprehensive upgrading of farm-saved seed (FSS) is also often neglected in northern Europe, represented in the present paper by Finland. In general, available growth resources are particularly underutilized in the northern and eastern parts of Europe, in contrast with the prime agricultural areas of western Europe. The present paper demonstrates the potential of increasing CCS use, and/or upgrading FSS, to boost yields at regional and national level. The assessment indicated that a substantial increase in CCS use in Finland, to correspond with that of Sweden and Denmark, is a basic, readily available and easily applicable means of sustainably intensifying northern European barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) production. Yield benefits averaged 440 kg/ha, corresponding to a 13% increase at national scale. Cultivar change contributed to about one-third of the benefit. At the national scale, an additional 20 000 tonnes of nitrogen (c. 8% increase) would be removed with the yields that would considerably exceed 2000 Gg annually compared with the present c. 1900 Gg total production of barley. Higher use of CCS represents a win–win situation for farmers, plant breeding companies and industry.

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Corresponding author

*To whom all correspondence should be addressed. Email: pirjo.peltonen-sainio@mtt.fi

References

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Use of quality seed as a means to sustainably intensify northern European barley production

  • P. PELTONEN-SAINIO (a1) and A. RAJALA (a1)

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