Crop: Secale cereale L. (Rye)

The landrace called ‘Iivo’ is cultivated as winter rye. It has been taken to cultivation in the municipal Liperi in the easternmost edge of Finland (North Karelia region) in 1930s.

During 1998-2001 it was in the official variety trials for new varieties in Finland. The value, cultivation stability, yield potential and quality of new varieties were evaluated. The owner of the variety enters the variety for the trials and covers the expenses. The trials take place in areas suitable for the cultivation of the crop in question. Variety trials are field trials that simulate practical cultivation. ‘In trials in Southern, Western and inner Finland ‘Iivo’ (then named as Parviainen) was analysed by winter damage, lodging, growing time, stand length, 1000-seed weight, hectolitre weight, fungicide treatment. Trials were performed in two soil types: coarse mineral soils and clay soils (Kangas et al 2002).

While the average yield of 3,200-3,700 kg was low compared to tested modern varieties it had a constant yielding in different fields and years. Its yield compared to modern varieties was more comparative in Western and Inner Finland because of its winter hardiness and early maturation. As having a long straw of 133 cm it is sensitive to lodging. (Kangas et al 2002).

Among the rye conservation varieties in Finland ‘Iivo’ is the most cultivated one. In 2018 its cultivation area was 14.88 ha. (Finnish Food Authorities 2019).

Cultivation System: conventional conditions.

Geographical Information

Country: Finland

The cultivation of ‘Iivo’ is clustered in the easternmost edge of Finland (North Karelia region). It has been taken to cultivation in the municipal Liperi where the seed is also produced.

Farmer(s) description:

The landrace arrived to one farm in the municipal Liperi in 1932 when farmer’s uncle brought it from Sortavala town in Carelia (61° 42' N, 30° 40' E ; today belonging to Russia) about 165 km to southeast from Liperi. It had been cultivated in a farm where uncle was served as a land steward. In 1960s many rye varieties were cultivated in the area and it was not protected from crosspollination. It is especially effective in utilizing natural nitrogen produced by clover field. Overdose of synthetic nitrogen causes unfavourable flavour to flour. As small grain its flour is high-fibre. (Iivo farmer interview 2018).

Propagation system: Seed, cross-pollination

Multiplication procedures and consequences on landrace diversity:

Because rye is a cross-pollinating plant, different varieties need to be cultivated far enough from each other, at least a safety zone of 0.5 km and preferably one kilometre is needed.  The farmer does not cultivate other rye varieties than ‘Iivo’. (Iivo farmer interview 2018).

Management plan existence:

As an official seed producer its variety quality is controlled regularly by Finnish Food Authorities by field inspection and post-control testing (Finnish Food Authorities 2019b).

Added Values

Market - existing and novel:

Among the rye conservation varieties in Finland ‘Iivo’ has the largest cultivation area. In North Carelia region it is considerably comparative compared to modern rye varieties.

Its seed is produced under the certified seed lot standards in Finland. Seed testing of conservation varieties is preceded as same manner as for normal certified seed lots including field inspection and laboratory analysis. Also the prices of inspections and analyses are the same as for normal seed lots. If the seed lot meets the standards set for conservation varieties it can approved for marketing in Finland. Seed bags need to labelled. In 2018 it has permission for seed production in 12 ha area. (Finnish Food Authorities 2019).

Others (e.g. commercial/geographical brands or special traits):

‘Iivo’ is registered in Finland as a conservation variety in the European Common Catalogue of Conservation Varieties (EU Plant variety database 2019; Finnish Plant Variety Journal 2019). The modified DUS-test is done during the registration process. The official variety trials for three years have been done (Kangas et al 2002).

The genetic diversity and secondary metabolites of ‘Iivo’ comparing it to other rye landraces in situ will be analysed in the ongoing Finnish rye sourdough project. (Luke project 2018-2020).

Marketing support is needed because for a single farmer grain and seed marketing is too time-consuming and requires special skills (Iivo farmer interview 2018).

This landrace is registered in Finland as a conservation variety in the European Common Catalogue of Conservation Varieties.

Case study provided by Natural Resource Institute (LUKE), Finland. Most of information were provided by Maarit Heinonen.