Gerta Ziegenbein

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Gerta Ziegenbein (born June 28, 1913 in Vollmershausen near Cologne , † January 20, 1996 in Bad Hersfeld ) was a German agricultural scientist . As head of the institute for plant breeding and seed production of the Hessian teaching and research institute for grassland management and forage production on Eichhof-Bad Hersfeld for many years , she worked on breeding problems with forage plants , checked the cultivability of species and varieties and researched their tolerance to herbicides .

Professional life path

Gerta Ziegenbein, daughter of a director of an agricultural school, attended the Lyceum and the secondary school in Gummersbach from 1923 . From 1933 she studied agriculture at the University of Jena and did her doctorate there in 1938 with Asmus Petersen with a business dissertation on crop rotation in the cultivation areas of Thuringia. She then worked as a scientific assistant to Theodor Roemer at the Institute for Plant Cultivation and Plant Breeding at the University of Halle (Saale) . From 1942 she was also responsible for the technical management of the plant breeding station.

After 1945 Gerta Ziegenbein worked as a plant breeder at the Hanover Monastery Chamber and at various private seed breeding companies. In 1952 she took on a position as a scientific assistant at the Institute for Phytopathology at the University of Göttingen . From 1953 she headed the Institute for Plant Breeding and Seed Production of the Hessian Teaching and Research Institute for Grassland Management and Forage Production on Eichhof-Bad Hersfeld . In 1965 she was appointed senior government councilor for agriculture and in 1969 professor . In 1978 she retired.

Research services

A central research field of Gerta Ziegenbein at the Eichhof was the processing of breeding problems with forage plants , especially with German ryegrass and Persian clover . The focus was on the selection of plant strains for virus tolerance . Well-known plant breeding companies in Germany developed independent varieties from this pre-selected breeding material .

Gerta Ziegenbein tested numerous other types of clover and forage grasses, including alexandrine clover , white clover and golden oats , for their suitability for cultivation in long-term trials. Another research focus was specific questions about seed production in forage plants. In doing so, in close cooperation with the Bundessortenamt and with plant protection companies , she examined above all the plant tolerance of newly developed herbicides in seed propagation.

With her research results in the field of herbicide tests, Gerta Ziegenbein influenced the further development of production processes for forage plants. Noteworthy is her overview article in the book Feldfutterbau als Hauptfrucht, published in 1964 together with Ulrich Wellmann and Rolf Hübner . Her experiments with growth regulators brought new insights . By using chlorcholine chloride (CCC) in grass seed cultivation, the stability of the plants could be sustainably improved and the seed yield increased significantly. Another focus of work was experiments on the use of growth regulators in the creation of ornamental lawns and grazing areas for game.

The list of publications of Gerta goat leg comprises about 100 publications, most of them in practical journals and conference proceedings of the German Agricultural Society (DLG). She was a member of the plant protection division in the DLG committee for grasses, clover species and catch crops. The German Agricultural Society awarded her the Max Eyth commemorative coin in silver in 1977 .

Main publications

  • The crop rotations in the cultivation areas of Thuringia . Diss. Mathemat.-Naturwiss. Fac. Univ. Jena 1939.
  • Working method and successes in oat and barley breeding at the plant breeding station of the University of Halle . In: Kühn Archive Vol. 60, 1944, pp. 440–454.
  • Plant protection in field forage production (diseases and pests; chemical weed control) . In: Ulrich Wellmann, Rolf Hübner and Gerta Ziegenbein: Field forage cultivation as the main crop. DLG-Verlag Frankfurt (Main) 1964, pp. 120-146.
  • Persian clover (Trifolium resupinatum L.) . In: Das Wirtschaftseigene Futter, Vol. 11, 1965, pp. 102-127.
  • Gerta Ziegenbein and Uwe Simon: Herbicidal application in forage plant seed cultivation. Results of recent DLG trials . DLG-Verlag Frankfurt (Main) 1966 = work of the DLG vol. 107.
  • Investigations with CCC in grass seed cultivation . In: Zeitschrift für Acker- und Pflanzenbau Vol. 126, 1967, pp. 179–187.


  • "We helped build the Eichhof" Prof. Dr. Farewell to Gerta Ziegenbein - researcher with international reputation . In: Hersfelder Zeitung of June 30, 1978 (with picture).
  • Irmgard Ziegenbein and Ursula Witek: Gerta Ziegenbein, agr. Plant breeder . In: Biographical lexicon on the history of plant breeding. Edited by Gerhard Röbbelen, 2nd episode, Verlag Liddy Halm Göttingen = Lectures for Plant Breeding H. 55, 2002, pp. 361–362 (with picture and selected writings).
  • Fritz Wagner: Teaching and research at the Hess. Eichhof-Bad Hersfeld teaching and research institute 1954-2000… A documentation . Verlag Fritz Wagner Bad Hersfeld 2008 (with list of publications).

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