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Laufener Landweizen (Laufen wheat)

An old variety rediscovered

Laufener Landweizen is an old variety of winter wheat from the border region of Rupertiwinkel and the foothills of the Salzburg Alps, named after the town of Laufen an der Salzach. It was the first landrace in Berchtesgadener Land, which was rediscovered a good 20 years ago and brought back to cultivation, processing and marketing through cross-border projects. Today, there is a network of organic farms and processing companies working to preserve this variety. With the purchase of products made from Laufener Landweizen, it is possible to preserve an ecological, genetic and cultural value.

A high ecological value

Laufener Landweizen is an old variety of winter wheat from the border region of Rupertiwinkel and the foothills of the Salzburg Alps. It is robust in growth, winter-hardy and is considered comparatively undemanding. Laufener Landweizen is considered to be unbred, i.e. it has largely retained its original properties. Unlike modern wheat varieties, it has awns and is considered to be well adapted to the local climate with its high precipitation. It also grows very tall, up to 2 meters, and prefers a wide plant spacing or low seed density. The stalks are surprisingly wind-resistant if the wheat is not fertilized too heavily and thus grows more slowly. The best results can be achieved with weak to moderate fertilization, for example manure fertilization, and a low seed density of 130 to 160 kg/ha. The amount of space available on the field encourages a species-rich wildflower flora, as long as the cultivation is organic. Accompanied by colorful flowering wild herbs, cultivation provides a habitat for many endangered plants and animals and is an enrichment of our landscape. The autochthonous wild herbs are harvested, propagated and reapplied to fields by local organic farmers. In 2017, yields of Laufen farm wheat averaged 2.3 tons per hectare, about 50% less than comparable organic wheat in the area. Good sites can yield up to 3 tons. The yield of straw, which is important for organic cultivation, is at least twice as high. The flour is of good quality and has good baking properties. In addition, the Laufener Landweizen stands out for its ingredients. Unlike modern varieties, which seem to have lost valuable nutrients at the expense of high yields, Laufener Landweizen is rich in vitamins, minerals and trace elements.

Products made from Laufen Wheat

Laufener Landweizen is marketed directly by organic farmers as flour and grains. Some bakeries process Laufener Landweizen in Berchtesgadener Land bread. It is also used in HOAMAT beers, which are excellent biosphere products.
Important for the preservation of Laufener Landweizen is regional marketing with short transportation routes, the involvement of regional crafts and regional trade to enable fair value creation at affordable prices for the consumer. The Biosphere Administration Office supports farmers who grow Laufener Landweizen, connecting them with regional processors. This is how this old variety can be preserved in the long term through local marketing and regional added value. Laufener Landweizen is processed by Bavarian and Austrian bakers. The open and cross-border exchange among farmers and bakers is remarkable, as they share their experiences, for example, in terms of dough management and processing. Laufener Landweizen is not a type of wheat found in a standard bread recipe, but requires craftsmanship and real skill. The cooperation was made possible by the cross-border project on Laufener Landweizen. A project was funded within the framework of the INTERREG small project funding of the EuRegio Salzburg – Berchtesgadener Land – Traunstein. Project partners were ANL (lead partner), the Berchtesgadener Land Biosphere Region and the Austrian partner BIO AUSTRIA.
Portrait Karin Heinrich

Your contact person

Karin Heinrich

Sustainable regional development, agriculture and public relations

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