Performance of spring barley (Hordeum vulgare) varieties under organic and conventional conditions

A. Kokare, L. Legzdina, I. Beinarovica, R.E. Niks, C.A. Maliepaard, E. Lammerts Van Bueren

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Organic agriculture needs spring barley varieties that are adapted to organic growing conditions and have good and stable grain yield across years, even under less favourable growing conditions. The aim of this study was to compare how varieties differ in yield and yield stability under conventional and organic management conditions. The results help to decide under which growing conditions selection of genotypes for organic farming can be most effective. Grain yield and yield components of 10 varieties were estimated in field trials for three years at four sites: two conventionally and two organically managed sites. Varieties differed in stability: some varieties had high yield under conventional conditions and relatively high and stable yield under organic conditions. Heritabilities for yield and yield components were lower under organic (especially in the field with low weed control) than under conventional conditions. Heritabilities for yield components were lower than those for yield itself. Selection for yield components, therefore, may be less effective than selection directly for grain yield. Our data showed that generally the top performing cultivars under conventional conditions also performed as the best under organic conditions, but there were also exceptions. Therefore we conclude that selection of genotypes for organic farming may take place under conventional conditions, but that a final testing should be conducted under organic conditions to confirm the suitability of the selected varieties for cultivation on organic farms.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)279-293
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • triticum-aestivum l.
  • low-input conditions
  • yield components
  • winter-wheat
  • stability
  • systems
  • agriculture
  • adaptation
  • cultivars
  • traits

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