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30 I EUROPEAN SEED I EUROPEAN-SEED.COM SPOTLIGHT VEREINIGUNG DER PFLANZENZCHTER UND SAATGUTKAUFLEUTE STERREICHS SEED SUPPORTER THOUGH THE COUNTRY MAY BE SMALL AUSTRIAS SEED INDUSTRY IS READY TO DO BUSINESS WITH THE WORLD. BY VPS ustria has 7.4 million hectares of agricultural land a nd forests. T he latter accounts for more than 46 per cent of this area. T he ag r icu ltu ra l land consists of 1.4 million hectares of arable land and 1.3 m i l l ion hect a res o f p e r m a n e n t grassland. Grassland can mainly be found in the western part of the country and the mountainous regions while arable land is located in the eastern part of Austria. Crops grown on arable land 822000 hectares of cereals and maize 215000 hectares of oils and protein crops 72000 hectares of sugar beets and potatoes 242000 hectares of fodder crops Residual area different crops 15000 hectares of fruits and 45000 hectares of grapevine The structure of farms is generally small. To illustrate this 95 per cent of all farms run less than 100 hectares of agricultural land and forest. Even 70 per cent of them run less than 30 hectares. However the size of the farms increases continuously. The seed multiplication area varies between 35000 and 37000 hectares. The main crops in this sector are cereals maize soybean potatoes and sugar beet. Small amounts of production are done in different oil and protein crops fodder crops and vegetables. Most seed production in Austria is done by 12 companies including national cooperatives national private companies as well as branches of international companies represented by Saatgut Austria Austrias national seed association. There are also some companies who just trade with seeds but do not produce them on their own. Breeding and seed production especially of plant genetic resources is also done by farmers and associations not included in Saatgut Austria whose full name is Vereinigung der Pflanzenzchter und Saatgutkaufleute sterreichs VPS. In Austria there are still eight companies working on plant breeding. Although the focus lies on cereals especially on wheat maize potatoes soybean vegetables and some other local crops like oilseed pumpkins are also bred. Since the Austrian market is very small most plant breeders and seed companies are also present in the east and southeastern European countries. SAATGUT AUSTRIA The Austrian Plant Breeders Association has existed for more than 65 years. The exact date of its founding is unknown. An association of Austrian seed merchants also existed in previous years. In 2000 these associations decided to merge to form Saatgut Austria. Saatgut Austria has an executive committee with a chairman who represents the association. The secretary is responsible for internal coordination organisation and the budget. The membership of Saatgut Austria is made up 30 companies working in plant breeding andor the seed production and trade. Other members include 12 private persons including employees of seed companies and SHARE OF CULTIVARS ON THE AUSTRIAN SEED TURNOVER MAIZE 39.32 OTHER 9.97 POTATOES 9.28 SUGAR BEET 8.15 FEED PLANT 12.53 CEREALS 20.75 also members of the University and Ministry of Agriculture. Saatgut Austria also has working groups who discuss topics that are only relevant for certain members e.g. plant variety protection and farm-saved seed seed treatments cereals maize forage crops and grasses public relations etc. The general assembly meets once a year.