Peer-reviewed paper on the economic impact of exchanging breeding material

Together with their co-authors, Sophia Lüttringhaus and Steffen Noleppa just published a peer-reviewed paper on the economics of exchanging breeding material for winter wheat.


Innovations such as improved crop varieties are needed to stabilize and improve the quality and quantity of agricultural production under multiple stresses such as climate change. The exchange of breeding material amongst plant breeders is supposed to facilitate the development of new varieties that have superior characteristics. The economic impact of this exchange has yet to be determined. To this end, we analyzed, for the first time, the economic benefits that were created by exchanged breeding material for the case of winter wheat production in Germany. The benefits are measured in terms of yield and revenue differences between varieties that were created with different levels of exchanged breeding material.


We conducted an ex-post analysis of the major 133 winter wheat varieties that were released between 1972 and 2018. In our analysis, we created a novel data set, which combines variety-specific yield and adoption data with the corresponding pedigree information. We found that 91 % of all German winter wheat varieties were created by interbreeding with exchanged parental material. The adoption superiority of those varieties with one or two external parents amounted to an economic surplus of 19.2 to 21.9 billion EUR over the past 45 years.


For more details you can read the full article here.