The history of Probstdorfer Saatzucht
Since its foundation in 1947, Probstdorfer Saatzucht has been operated as a privately-owned family business. The breeding program in Probstdorf started in the interwar period, when the proprietary family Thavonat leased their land to the Süddeutsche Zucker AG. The first varieties were registered in the late 1920s.
After World War II, baron Thavonat received his possessions back and started „Probstdorfer Saatzucht“.
The successful rebound in breeding following the next couple of years was mostly due to the work of Prof. Hermann Hänsel (1918-2005), who was the head of breeding between 1951 and 1988. Even during his retirement, and until his death, he was employed as a freelancer and consultant in Probstdorf. The varieties developed by Prof. Hänsel still remain as the cadre of our premium wheat quality. CAPO, which was registered in 1989 and represented the most popular single variety in Austria for many years, still serves as a parent for many different wheat varieties due to its appealing characteristics.
In 1963, the construction of the first grain silo with processing line marked the beginning of the successive upgrading process of our treatment facilities. Today, the silo is still used for processing of breeder seeds.
In 1970, merchant Fritz Mauthner took over Probstdorfer Saatzucht and began to invest in warehouses and processing facilities.
With the purchase of estate Salmhof in Marchegg, Fritz Mauthner subsequently expanded the operations of Probstdorfer Saatzucht. Salmhof is used for the multiplication of superelite seeds and the intensification of research.
After his death in 1988, Firtz Mauthner’s heirs took over the company and they still manage the company as a family business to this day.
In the year 2000, the breeding department of Probstdorfer Saatzucht was merged with that of Saatbau Linz, which led to the formation of Saatzucht Donau, a subsidiary company with equal stakes of 50 % for each of the two associate partners. This resulted in a substantial enhancement of crop breeding programs in Austria. The headquarters of Saatzucht Donau is situated in Probstdorf in the Marchfeld Region, a second breeding site is located in Reichersberg/Inn in Upper Austria. New varieties are developed in a combined effort, but are then split between Probstdorfer Saatzucht and Saatbau Linz and are marketed independently.
However, the continuous extension of infrastructure and markets of Probstdorfer Saatzucht as a producer of quality seeds for Austrian farmers and international licence partners still progresses to this day.