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A Breeder´s Year

Breeding a new variety needs ten to twelve years!
Each year brings new and different challenges, because breeding is working in and with nature.
With the next few pictures we want to provide a short insight into a breeder´s year.

Traktor mit Sähmaschine

The breeding year starts! 
With the help of a lot of hands sowing is prepared and then let´s go!
Spring is coming and the first work on the fields starts!
Each year around 40.000 plots are sown.

aufgehende Saat

The emergence of the seed....

aufgehende Saat

... then a breeder has to keep an eye on the plants almost every day!


....and has to take many notes!


During the whole year we take care of our trials very carefully!


A breeder has to think and watch a lot all through the year!


We also give information about our varieties and trials and welcome a lot of guests on our fields!


There is a big interest to get in contact to other plant breeders in Austria and abroad. There are also some exchange-trials with some of them. While visiting there is some time for exchanging of ideas.............


............. and then every breeder can be proud of his children and has a special look over his plants!


Time of blooming is a stressful time for breeders!
Important decisions have to be made because time for crossings has come!


In each field there is another "Crossing team". Sometimes identification is very difficult because you cannot see their heads between all that green!


Crossing means first of all castration has to be done with tweezers.


.......afterwards each blossom has to be pollinated and isolated. 



In a project dealing with hybrid-rye thousands of rye ears had to be isolated with a paper bag!



Our "trained crossing staff" feels up to give a look over their shoulders!

They circulate their precious pieces of information to young and untrained staff!



Each multiplication area has to be controlled a few times to eliminate outcrosses or ill plants!



First of all harvest-work is the selection of the most beautiful ears in young generations.



....the famous search for the needle in the haystack!
.... the breeder´s view comes to operation!




Harvest season can start..................




and here we go!



Trainees, staff and helpers work together and believe me those hands are very welcome, because it´s a lot to do!




Summer, sun and sunshine
hot, dusty and exhausting -
the most helpful instrument is the best equipment!


Dokumentation Pause
All of the staff likes to take a little break during those hard workingdays. Most of all a little after-lunch-nap is needed in the shadow before work starts again! 



bags, bags, bags, ................


Daten sammeln

A lot of data is collected, lots of samples are taken, and, and, and, ........




Often those working days last very long and end  very late!



.....and all of a sudden all trials and fields are harvested!
What next?


Büro  Büro

We are not lazy! - Work in laboratory and office has to be done!
Data is evaluated statistically, laboratory analysis has to be done and all the data is collected from the different varieties and lines. With those the breeder makes his final decisions!
Only the best ones are sown again the next year in another trial - and the next sowing season will come soon!


Each summer a lot of new helping hands come to Edelhof to get a taste of a plant breeder´s work or to get into contact with working in a laboratory!



.... and after some time preparations for autumn cultivation get started .... 




..... then sowing is done within a few days.
We are very anxious to see what the next year will bring! 



To shorten the duration for breeding a new variety, we send our seeds to Chile during our winter months.
There the plants can enjoy those summer days while our region here in Austria is snow-covered.
In January the plants are harvested and afterwards seed is sent back home
... to Austria - to Edelhof!



.... At Edelhof winter is here!

Fields are sleeping under a thick layer of snow, but at the breeding station there is a buzz of activity!
Backstage all of us are busy preparing for the next spring cultivation!

Because next spring is surely coming and therewith a lot to do for the team!