Oliver Seeds

Semillas Oliver S.L. is a company with a long agricultural tradition, dedicated from the beginning to producing lucerne seeds of typical breeds from the Ebro River Valley, highly regarded in the area and recognized even by name only: Aragón, Victoria and Capitana. The company’s philosophy was always based on maintaining typical characteristics of such breeds, proceeding with care and caution in regard to conservation and proliferation of this particularly valuable seed, and passing the importance of these values on from generation to generation.

It is worth noting that the characteristics of these breeds are essential to production of lucerne in our area, since they have proven to be the most resilient and suitable for both edaphic and climate factors in the area, maintaining optimum productivity during all the lifespan of the crops. Furthermore, the nutritional values and quality of these breeds of lucerne are excellent and there are not are no plagues or any particularly serious disease which affect them. All three breeds of lucerne have similar phenotypic features. Nonetheless, there are differences between them which make them distinguishable, such as the long spacing between knots in the stem of the “Aragón” breed plants or the high amount of branches at the base of the plant in “Capitana” breed.

The process for obtaining the seed takes place under uninterrupted monitoring, from production at the crop up to selecting and bagging. The selection process, both mechanical and manual, takes place at the facilities in Buñuel, hence ensuring purity of the seeds which is endorsed by laboratory tests performed on every batch by official control entities. The bagging procedure takes place right after selection, i.e. the seeds do not leave the premises at any stage of the process.

During its business trajectory, Semillas Oliver has supplied all 3 abovementioned breeds of lucerne seeds to both national and international markets.

Projects

In 2008, AIMA (Research Association for Improvement of lucerne breeding) ceased its activities ceased and the Association distributed the existing material assets among its partners, including parent material for Aragon, Capitana, Victoria Sprinter and Verdal breeds.

These three breeds were obtained from “Aragón” ecotype by AIMA, Semillas Oliver being a founding partner and providing funds for the association’s activities. In this manner, the company ensured the availability of these three breeds’ pre-base seeds in order to make them multiply from Pre-base stage to Base stage and then from Base stage to R-1 stage. Semillas Oliver never made R-1 multiply since the company considered that obtaining R-2 stage seed would inevitably entail scattering of the plots, hence endangering the purity of the breed in this Category.

For this reason, and on the basis of origins of materials being authenticated, the Spanish Vegetable Diversity Office acknowledged Semillas Oliver as the Keeper of such breeds. Aware of how crucial it is to multiply this material in order obtain high-quality pure-breed seed and achieve germination, this company is currently launched on implementing a project which will enable to obtain subsequent generations of seeds from the abovementioned parent material. For this purpose, the company is strictly complying with the standards established by current laws and regulations in order to avoid any breed-contamination, hence ensuring the purity of the material obtained which shall descend directly from well-known parent material.

This project, still at an early stage in development, is being implemented in a estate where all 5 breeds shall be implanted along with their subsequent generations, establishing an innovative sowing mechanism in our country enabling an excellent traceability.

Varieties

Aragón

The quintessence of lucerne. A natural plantation shaped for centuries by means a natural selection process according to climatic and edaphic environment in Middle Ebro Valley Ebro River Valley, which provided for an extraordinary adaptation to this area and also to general conditions in the Iberian Peninsula, particularly for inland and Northern areas, where temperature is high and watering is frequent during the summer. This breed stands out due to fast regrowth in spring time, quick development after trimming, good regrowth in autumn and great quality fodder (high protein contents) thanks to its thin hollow stems and wide leaves. Medium to semi-dormant earliness.

It is a very persistent breed able to easily reach 5 years of age, very resistant to diseases and insects. Able to resist cold temperatures during the winter thanks to dormancy period with an integral thermal equivalent to 4,000-5,000 ºC (7,232-9,032 ºF) during growing stage.

Capitana

A synthetic breed originating from Aragón Ecotype. Retaining such Ecotype general characterizes regarding level of earliness, development pace, ability to adapt to frequent trimming and resistance to plagues and diseases, and even exceeding it in terms of production volume, quality of fodder and persistence. This breed stands out for its high quantity of branches at the base of the plant.

Allowing for development at quick pace with approximately 30-day periods between trimmings. This feature makes this breed most suitable as far as dehydration requirements are concerned and allows for low fiber contents and high protein contents in the final product.

Medium or semi-dormant earliness, resistant to cold temperatures during the winter thanks to dormancy period with an integral thermal equivalent to 4.000-5,000ºC 4,000-5,000 ºC (7,232-9,032 ºF) during growing stage.

Victoria

A synthetic breed originating from Aragón Ecotype. Retaining such Ecotype general characterizes regarding level of earliness, development pace, ability to adapt to frequent trimming and resistance to plagues and diseases, and even exceeding it in terms of production volume, quality of fodder and persistence. Medium or semi-dormant earliness. Lucerne plants with hollow stems and very leafy.

Allowing for development at quick pace with approximately 30-day periods between trimmings. His feature makes this breed most suitable as far as dehydration requirements are concerned and allows for low fiber contents and high protein contents in the final product.

Sprinter

A precocious breed (non-dormant) vegetative growth as long as average temperature surpasses certain critical threshold. Coming from warm areas with no freezing and able to take advantage of high integral thermal conditions equivalent to 15,000-6,000’CI.

This breed belongs to the intervarietal breeds family, clones thereof being hybrids obtained by crossbreeding Aragón breed with selected plants of foreign breeds. In such hybrids, due to the very differentiated genetics of the parents, we achieve an outbreeding enhancement or heterosis; on the other hand, Aragon lucerne breed intervening in this process provides for high persistence.

Its earliness surpasses that of Aragon ecotype still retaining similar resistance to cold temperatures. It stands out thanks to quick planting and high production during the first two years of the crops. As of third year, performance in our area is similar to that of Aragón breed and such slightly decreases during the fourth year.

The most suitable areas for this breed are Andalusia and warm areas of Extremadura. Sprinter breed is considered, among its family, the most suitable for Middle Ebro River Valley in three-year intensive farming.

Verdal

A late development breed (barely precocious or dormant). A synthetic breed obtained from genetic material from different origins, particularly selected for the North Plateau, Galicia, Cantabrian Mountain Ledge, South Pyrenees and rest of Europe. This breed particularly suits chilly dry weather and cold areas where the length of daytime matches the first autumnal frosts, since it surpasses other breeds as far as productivity and persistence in such areas are concerned.

This breed is capable of taking advantage of high thermal integrals.

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