Deutsche Saatveredelung AG – a 100-year success story

„Let's all come back down to earth" – stated Dr. Eike Hupe (DSV AG Executive Board) as he welcomed business partners, employees and guests to the social evening for the Federal Association of German Plant Breeders on the occasion of DSV's 100th anniversary at the Salzkotten/Thüle breeding station at the end of April. 

"This is the motto of our anniversary year, because soil is one of the most important resources of mankind to secure food. For 100 years, DSV has been contributing to soil health and thus to the sustainable success of agriculture with its down-to-earth approach and foresight, with healthy and high-yielding varieties and intelligent greening systems." 

100 years of Deutsche Saatveredelung AG
 100 years of Deutsche Saatveredelung AG

DSV represents research, breeding, production and sales from a single source: with 750 employees in 8 subsidiaries worldwide. DSV achieves sales of more than 72,000 tonnes of seed and a turnover of around 250 million euros. The focus is on grasses, fodder, legumes, oilseed rape, maize, cereals and catch crops.

Desolate grassland and a shortage of seed were the reasons that farmers in Landsberg an der Warthe – today Gorzów Wielkopolski, Poland - founded Deutsche Saatveredelung. Initially, the aim was to ensure fodder seed production. About ten years after its foundation, DSV's breeding history began with its entry into forage plant breeding. However, the consequences of the Second World War presented the company with great challenges. The Russian army marched into Landsberg at the end of the war in 1945. DSV‘s Managing Director at the time rescued important breeding material from Landsberg and took it to Lippstadt in North Rhine-Westphalia. He succeeded in rebuilding DSV there. This laid the foundation for further growth. Thus, in 1951, DSV achieved the status of the largest seed production company of forage plants in West Germany with about 5,000 hectares of production area. In 1966, DSV began breeding oilseed rape. In 1974, DSV was one of 4 breeding companies that founded the Rapool-Ring GmbH sales association – Rapool today stands for quality oilseed rape both nationally and internationally. After the German reunification in 1991, DSV entered the field of cereal breeding by taking over the historic seed breeding station Leutewitz near Dresden.

International importance

Now in 2023, the DSV Group is an internationally successful plant breeding and seed company with subsidiaries in Poland, France, Great Britain, Ukraine, the Netherlands, Denmark, Canada and Argentina. DSV is also known internationally for its successful breeding of grasses and legumes as well as for innovative quality oilseed rape and cereal breeding.

Specialised breeding

In addition to the headquarters in Lippstadt, the company includes various seed breeding stations, testing stations and production sites. On more than 1,200 hectares, site adapted, healthy and resource efficient varieties are bred at 9 seed breeding stations across Europe for the needs of international markets and the most diverse climatic conditions. 12% of sales are invested in research and development. DSV uses state-of-the-art facilities, equipment and laboratory techniques to support the classical breeding work in the field, greenhouse and laboratory. Continuous further development, also within the framework of diverse research cooperations, is what makes DSV successful. DSV works together with various partners from science and industry, interest groups and service institutions.

Seed production at the highest level

Seed production is one of DSV's core competencies. More than 1,600 farmers multiply DSV seed on approximately 50,000 hectares in Germany, Denmark, Poland, the Netherlands and Canada. The multipliers are supervised by DSV specialists to ensure the high-quality production of quality seed. In-house laboratories are also available for testing the seed, as well as modern processing and packaging facilities at the various DSV locations for processing the crop after harvest.

Soil improvement through expertise

DSV is also an innovator in the development of new, intelligent cultivation systems. Well thought through cultivation systems help to increase biodiversity, promote soil health and soil fertility. DSV's broad range of species enables it to offer crop-specific solutions.

"Restrictions on the use of crop protection and fertilisers, strongly increased energy and production prices as well as the challenges of climate change have a significant impact on agriculture. This makes it all the more important now to stick to investments in research and development in plant breeding so that we can continue to breed and market climate stable and healthy varieties. With this vision and 'closeness to the soil', DSV will continue to support its customers in the best possible way in the future," said Clive Krückemeyer (CEO of DSV AG) on the occasion of the anniversary celebrations.

To mark the 100th anniversary, 100 trees will be planted at DSV locations and stations worldwide. These stand as symbols for growth, down-to-earthness, resilience and sustainability.

If you would like to learn more about the history of DSV, you can find a journey through time at