Ptuj Selection Centre
Every year, the exhibition garden of the Ptuj Selection Centre is full of green plantations of multi-annual ornamental and fodder grasses, clovers, herbs, aromatic plants, and flowers. In addition, numerous annual vegetables and crops of domestic and foreign origin are also sown.
Semenarna Ljubljana has been acquiring the trust of domestic and foreign consumers of seeds for nearly a century through successful production of landraces and foreign seed varieties. We constantly update our production capacities and consider the our most important milestone as the Ptuj Selection Centre which was established in 1968. Since 1988 when the Ptuj selection centre expanded to 46 hectares, co-operation with amateur and professional growers of ornamental plants and crops has become even more intensive and regular. Maintenance selection of conservation and Semenarna’s varieties is the most important task of the Ptuj Selection Centre. These include:
- cabbage: varaždinsko, ljubljansko, futuško;
- turnip: kranjska okrogla in podolgovata;
- kohlrabi: rumena maslena;
- lettuce: leda, ljubljanska ledenka, bistra, posavka, dalmatinska ledenka, unicum, laibacher eis 3, vegorka, nansen, zimska rjavka, braziljanka, majska kraljica;
- corn-salad: ljubljanski, žličar, pomladin;
- tomato: val, bon pierre, novosadski jabučar;
- garden pepper: soroksari, kurtovska kapija, sivrija, botinska rumena, jerneja, alpina, magdalena;
- pepperoni: ferdi;
- onion: ptujska rdeča, belokranjka, tera, holandska rumena;
- cucumbers: dolge zelene;
- beans: češnjevec, jabelski pisanec, jeruzalemski, ptujski maslenec, maslenec rani, klemen, zorin, cipro, semenarna22, barianec, kiro;
- carrots: nantes 2, ljubljansko rumeno;
- parsley: berlinski;
- beetroot: bikor, cilindra;
- leek: dolgi domači, carentan;
- shallot: pohorka;
- chycory: solkanski;
- endivie: eskariol zelena, dečja glava;
- garlic: ptujski jesenski in spomladanski;
- cucumber: slovenska golica;
- buckwheat: darja;
- lucerne: soča, krima, mura;
- feed rape: daniela;
- spelt: murska bela, murska dolgo klasa.
Field tests are the basis
To ensure that the seeds produced are of the best quality possible, numerous varieties of various agricultural and ornamental plants are sown at Ptuj. During growth, these plants are observed and their economically important characteristics and preservation from generation to generation established (measured).
Because we are aware of the advantages of landraces in comparison with foreign varieties regarding their adaptability to growing conditions in Slovenia, we maintain such varieties by means of maintenance selection. In this way, unwanted, frequently ill or atypical plants are elminated. Genetic characteristics are maintained longer with self-pollinated plants in comparison with open-pollinated ones. Since pollen is light and can be carried far by the wind or insects, unwanted crossbreeding can occur. The characteristics of the variety change and evident only when the sowing of seeds of the next generation takes place. To prevent unwanted crossbreeding, familiar varieties must be sown far away from each other. The distance between the crops of self-pollinated plants (grains, barley, soya beans) is only a few metres, but is still greater than with open-pollinated plants (sunflower, pumpkin, buckwheat, cabbage, oilseed rape, corn) which are pollinated by insects and the wind. To ensure the size, quality, and economically important characteristics of the variety or species, the test is repeated in the next year. If we want to establish how a certain variety performs in other growing conditions, tests are also performed in other parts of Slovenia. Thus, we can recommend varieties to customers, which grow best in a certain area.
Tests in the Selection Testing Centre of Semenarna Ljubljana in Ptuj
All tests necessary for the controlled quality of seed in bags of Semenarna Ljubljana are performed at the Centre, including comparison with the competition. The bags contain quality seeds, produced with much dedication, effort, patience and abundant knowledge.
During the year, the field of the selection centre looks like a large garden. All the vegetables and flowers which you can buy in our seed bags grow and bloom here.
The varietal purity is checked and which of the seed organisations offers better seeds determined through field tests in the field. These tests are called vegetation tests since they last only one growing period. The test is repeated in the next year with newly purchased seeds, of course.
Vegetation tests also include high-quality varieties of vegetables and hybrids of recognised European seed organisations, which are bought primarily by those professionally engaged in vegetable production.
Ecological tests establish how specific varieties are doing under certain climate conditions and last several years. This, too, is one of the tasks of the selection centre.
Each year, foreign seed organisations send us samples with seeds of hybrids and high-quality varieties which may be potentially interesting for market production in Slovenia. We organise such type of tests at various places throughout Slovenia.
The work of a breeder is extremely interesting and also extremely difficult. At the Ptuj Selection Centre, various vegetable species and varieties are bred with the purpose of improving the quality of a variety, decreasing virus infections, etc. The result of breeding is top-quality basic seeds which are used for the production of seeds that can be purchased in Semenarna Ljubljana seed bags and other forms of packaging.
At the Ptuj Selection Centre, basic seeds are produced for an extremely extensive list of plants. In the seed production field, the long path to the basic seed is called maintenance selection. Here the quality of the variety is preserved so as to prevent its degeneration. All less qualitative plants, which do not have sufficient varietal identity or are overly susceptible to diseases and pests, are separated from the crop; the best plants are selected and adequately marked.
The marked plants grow until "harvest time“ under the vigilant eye of the breeder and selector. If they continue to display only good characteristics, the seeds of each marked plant are collected separately and sown on a separate parcel the next year. The progeny is also included in the observation procedure. Those which "survive“ the examination of the strict commission – which evaluates them also in terms of technological maturity – can stay in the field until the seeds mature.
The seeds of all marked plants are combined to form the best quality seeds which are marked as superelite (basic seeds). The entire procedure is also supervised by the Agricultural Institute of Slovenia, which examines each crop three to four times a year.
AFter the superelite seeds are sown, the elite are harvested. The elite seeds are then sown and produce the seeds for the seed bags.