Varieties services

Austrian List of Varieties (ÖSL)

In the Austrian Variety List you will find administrative details of the listed and recently deleted varieties. These are updated as of January 15 (Austrian List of Varieties). Varieties newly listed in Austria are promptly reported to the EU catalogs of varieties for agricultural plant species and for vegetable species. The entry in the EU variety catalogs means an EU-wide marketing right for the breeders and the applicants.

Descriptive List of Varieties (BSL)

Variety selection is a key to sustainable agriculture and makes an important contribution to ecology and economy, to biodiversity and to the quality of the harvested products

The Descriptive List of Varieties provides comprehensive information on the "land cultural value" of crop varieties for food and technical use. For a variety to have "land cultural value," an improvement in cultivation (e.g., better resistance to pests), in the utilization of the harvested crop, or in the utilization of the products obtained from the harvested crop must be expected compared to comparable varieties(§50 Seed Law).

The availability of comprehensive objective data on these plant varieties, with optimized site-adapted selection by farmers, also contributes to varietal biodiversity. The differentiated evaluation provides farmers in the various climatic regions of Austria with a tool for optimized variety selection in the form of the "Descriptive List of Varieties". The outstanding access figures to the homepage of the Federal Office for Food Safety (BAES) also testify to the high acceptance and thus impact of the Descriptive List of Varieties. The information offered by the BSL about new - but also proven - varieties is disseminated to interested farmers via the trade press, the field cultivation guides in cooperation with the Chambers of Agriculture and via the Internet.

In addition to the yield potential of the varieties, the quality, tolerance and agronomic characteristics in different environments are of particular importance in the context of BSL. For example, the resistance of winter wheat varieties alone to nine different plant diseases is evaluated under natural as well as artificially infected conditions.

Based on the multi-year data from the variety approval, subsequent comparative variety trials, as well as through the crop rotation and variety biodiversity of the respective crop type, farmers can make a targeted variety selection. As a result, the use of plant protection products can usually be significantly reduced or even avoided. Optimized crop rotations enable reduced fertilizer application without yield losses and improved nitrogen efficiency. As a result, fewer climate-damaging greenhouse gases are produced and nitrate pollution of groundwater and surface waters is reduced.

Exploiting the high and stable yield potential and breeding progress of new varieties (approx. 1% yield increase/year) also makes an important contribution to food security. The use of more tolerant varieties can reduce fungal contamination of the crop and its pollutant content due to the reduced use of pesticides. This significantly reduces the undesirable contamination of food and feed with mycotoxins (mold toxins). Plant production geared to sustainability and based on conscious and critical choice of varieties thus makes a significant contribution to food security and food safety, but also to the competitiveness of domestic agriculture.

For breeders and applicants of varieties of the most important agricultural crops such as cereals, grain maize, sugar beet, forage grasses, etc., variety approval determines the associated EU-wide marketing rights. The testing of the "land cultural value" is done in an extensive two to three year value testing in different environments in Austria. The varieties listed in the EU catalog of varieties (tested from Finland to Cyprus) are basically available to Austrian farmers. From this population, varieties are selected and tested under Austrian environmental and production conditions by us or the Federal Office for Food Safety. This results in the site-adapted varieties of the Austrian Descriptive Variety List. The testing also ensures the highest production and product safety as well as environmental and product quality.

Especially for farmers, the comparative variety description and the information derived from it are a valuable basis of business relevance. The great demand for our information offer in the field of varieties for agricultural crops is also reflected in the increasing number of accesses to the Descriptive List of Varieties as well as to the interactive Variety Finder.

Our information offer of the Descriptive List of Varieties is continuously evaluated and improved. The data available on crop varieties and their seed creates the possibility of sustainably integrated crop production and land management.

Variety finder online

Our AGES Variety Finder offers users the possibility to find the right variety for their individual conditions. Based on the tables of the BSL, it links agronomic and qualitative properties with yields. Click here for the interactive variety finder.

To facilitate a trait-based, comparative and quick variety selection, we offer the interactive variety fin der based on regional yield data.

This makes the Federal Office for Food Safety, together with us, the first European registration institution to offer agriculture such a tool for winter wheat, winter barley, grain maize, potato, sugar beet and winter rapeseed. Only CETIOM - a French research and development institution for the promotion of oil plant production - already offers a similar product, myVar®, for winter grain rapeseed, sunflower, soybean and hemp.

How the Variety Finder works

Our Variety Finder provides interested farmers with a tool that suggests varieties that meet their individual specifications based on their personal selection and filters. The following filters can be set:

  • Crop type(e.g. winter wheat).
  • Lists to be accessed (e.g. crop and quality characteristics)
  • Group(e.g. quality and mixed wheat)
  • Search filters: pull in maximum limits on traits such as storage ≤4, yellow rust ≤6, hectoliter weight ≤4, etc.
  • Compare varieties: further restrict already filtered varieties.
  • Characteristic restriction: reduce characteristics to the desired number.

Depending on the number and selection of personal filters, our Variety Finder usually narrows down the number of most suitable varieties to a few.

Register of protected varieties

The register of protected varieties is published once a year by the Federal Office for Food Safety.

Electrophoretic variety determination

The basis for this form of chemotaxonomic variety identification is the electrophoretic distribution pattern of storage proteins, which is characteristic for the variety and independent of ecological factors.

In potato, the proteins of the tuber juice are separated; in cereals, specific protein fractions are extracted from the individual grain. Variety control is important for breeders, export, certification, contract verification and consumers and is required by the Quality Class Regulation for potato.


Reference material is the standard sample of the variety from our Institute for Seed and Seedlings, Plant Protection Service and Bees. For electrophoretic characterization of a newly approved variety, 100 grains are assessed. To determine the varietal purity of a sample, 100 individual grains are examined, and for varietal authenticity testing, 30 grains are examined. For common and durum wheat, spelt and triticale, identification is done by separating the gliadins of the individual grain. In the case of barley, identification is carried out by separating the hordeins.


Standard variety tubers from our Institute for Seeds and Seedlings, Plant Protection Service and Bees serve as reference material. To check the varietal authenticity and purity of a sample, six tubers from a sample of at least 20 tubers are analyzed. If a foreign tuber is among these six, nine additional tubers of this sample must be analyzed to clarify the degree of admixture. The variety is identified by direct electrophoretic comparison of sample and standard. The examination takes one to two days.

N-Tester: Variety correction values

With the aid of the N tester, the N fertilization requirement for shooting and late fertilization can be determined for various cereal varieties. Different varieties of a cereal species can have different chlorophyll contents despite the same supply of nitrogen (same value on the N-tester), which means that a different fertilization must be applied. For this reason, the values displayed on the N-tester must be corrected. The N-Tester variety correction values are therefore used for the correct assessment of N administration when using the N-Tester. They are updated annually for winter wheat, winter barley, winter rye, winter triticale, winter durum and spring soft wheat and durum wheat.

The current variety correction values can be found in a separate document under Downloads.

Analysis of agricultural crop types

Grain quality determination

Cereals and their milled products are an essential part of the domestic and global diet with a wide range of uses. The "true" cereals - as opposed to pseudocereals - are cultivated plants from the botanical genus of sweet grasses, which are mainly cultivated for their grain fruits for the production of food (flour and bread). In addition, cereals are also used as whole plants, on the one hand as animal feed, and on the other hand increasingly for industrial use as biogenic raw materials and energy suppliers.

Depending on the intended use, different demands are made on the quality of the grain. The knowledge of various parameters enables you to better assess the product quality and the optimal use, e.g. suitability of wheat flour for certain products such as cookies or bread rolls. We have a wide range of methods at our disposal, including the analysis of parameters relevant to quality and safety. Our services include the analysis of cereal grains and milling products.

We offer the following analyses:

Whole grain analyses:

  • Rapid determination of moisture, protein and ash by NIR spectroscopy.
  • Hectoliter weight (HLG)
  • thousand grain mass (TKM)
  • Grading (especially for malting barley)

Value-determining ingredients:

  • Crude protein
  • Starch and sugar content (mono-, di- and oligosaccharides)
  • Ash content (grading of mehlytpe[1])
  • Dietary fiber[2] or fiber content[3]
  • Crude fat (especially for oats)
  • Amino acid profile
  • Yellow pigments (especially for durum)

[1] according to L Codex Alimentarius Austriacus chapter B 20 Milled and hulled products [2] relevant for food [3] relevant for feed

Quality determining characteristics for wheat:

  • Falling Number
  • Moist gluten
  • Sedimentation according to Zeleny
  • Farinogram (kneading properties)
  • Extensogram (elongation properties of the dough)
  • Alveogram (elongation properties of the dough)

Safety-relevant characteristics:

  • Mycotoxins
  • Pesticides
  • Ergot alkaloids (ergot)

Antinutritive ingredients:

  • Amylasetrypsin inhibitor activity

Quality determination of oil crops and legumes

By-products of oil extraction and legumes especially soybeans and soy products are an essential part of the domestic and global protein supply with versatile applications. Due to its high protein content and favorable amino acid composition, soybean in particular is frequently used as a high-protein feed (e.g. as soybean cake, extraction meal, ...) in animal feed. The soybean also has a very high value as a food. It is the raw material for countless vegetarian and vegan foods as well as various products of the bakery industry.

Depending on the intended use, different demands are placed on the quality of the protein fruit. We have a broad spectrum of methods at our disposal, which includes the analysis of antinutritive as well as safety and quality-relevant parameters. Knowledge of diverse parameters enables you to better assess product quality and optimal use.

We offer the following tests:

Antinutritive ingredients:

  • Trypsin inhibitor activity*
  • Urease activity*

Quality determining characteristics:

  • Protein solubility in water or potassium hydroxide solution

Value-determining ingredients:

  • Crude protein
  • Oil content with NMR
  • Amino acids (esp. methionine and lysine)
  • Mono-, di- and oligosaccharides
  • Total sugars

Safety relevant characteristics:

  • Salmonella
  • Heavy metals
  • Pesticides
  • GMO

*In optimally treated feeds, trypsin inhibitor activity should not exceed 2 mg/g, urease activity 0.4 mg/N/g/min.

Information as well as contacts on the subject of feed can be found here.


Institute for Sustainable Crop Production - Department of Sustainable Crop Production


DI Klemens Mechtler

Institute of Animal Nutrition and Feed - Department of Feed Analysis and Technological Value Testing


Dr. Elisabeth Reiter

Last updated: 22.02.2024

automatically translated