Der Ährenmann

Eckart Irion is a special man with a special profession: he researches and breeds new types of grain. He does not work with genetic engineering methods, as is common today, but adheres to the age-old principle of selection.

And he also has completely different ideals than the modern agricultural industry, which aims to breed a few high-yielding varieties that are as universally applicable as possible and as resistant as possible to vermin and diseases. This can often only be achieved indirectly by creating resistance to certain herbicides, pesticides and insecticides, i.e. by taking chemicals into account.

In addition to rye, wheat and oats, Irion is also researching an approximately 8000 year old native wheat species that has been forgotten at some point. Good seed cannot come from the laboratory, but must mature in a natural environment, in a strictly controlled cycle: therefore he grows the fodder for his cows, horses, chickens and ducks and in return these supply the fertilizer for the grain.

Director(s): Bertram Verhaag
Script: Bertram Verhaag
Production: DENKmal Filmgesellschaft, Bayerischer Rundfunk (BR)
Actors: Eckart Irion, Renate Irion, Franz Obermeyer
Year: 2003
Duration: 45 min
Our age recommendation: 16
Language (audio): German
Country of origin: Germany
Shooting Locations:
Screening rights: Bayerischer Rundfunk (BR) (Germany) | DENKmal Film Verhaag GmbH ()
  • This film can be watched for a fee at the top.


Main topic(s): Genetic Engineering + Seeds
Secondary topics: biodiversity organic
Mentions: cereals breeding seeds genetic engineering organic laboratory agriculture wheat rye oats yield resistance pesticides
Topic Page(s): Genetic Engineering + Seeds

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