Plant breeding: improving useful plants both biologically and economically

Ever since man first settled down and began farming we have been selecting plants which seem useful to us in order to feed ourselves and our livestock. At Saatzucht Steinach we have been doing this for 100 years now, which makes us one of the oldest forage plant breeding companies in the world.

Today we use traditional as well as state-of-the-art biotechnology techniques to breed feed and lawn grasses, legumes and catch crops. In total we are working on 27 species in a range of breeding programmes at two sites. The majority of varieties we work with are cross-pollinating, which is why we have sensibly separated the breeding programmes between Steinach and Bornhof. The breeders work a total of 76 hectares of breeding nursery, the equivalent to around 40 000 nursery beds per year, plus single planting and pre-multiplication sites. Both locations are equipped with climate controlled rooms, greenhouses and laboratories. Saatzucht Steinach has around 110 varieties ready for sale in Germany and abroad.

Research projects: from the idea to breeding success

In the research and development field we maintain strong relationships with German and foreign universities, public research institutions, private providers and other breeding houses. On the one hand this gives us access to very useful sources which ensure the genetic diversity of our breeding material. On the other hand we are able to develop highly efficient testing procedures which we then use to test important characteristics of our lines. We are a member of the Society for the Promotion of Private German Plant Breeding (Gesellschaft zur Förderung der privaten deutschen Pflanzenzüchtung or GFP). This organisation initiates and coordinates joint research projects in the pre-competition sector. Having direct contact with various research institutions also allows us to investigate questions specific to our business within bilateral projects.