Einkorn is a spelt grain and is characterised by its undemanding cultivation in terms of soil, climate and nutrients. It is also very robust when it comes to diseases and pests. However, yields remain limited to approx. 1.5-3 tons per hectare. Since this is also the case in very good soil conditions, einkorn could not and cannot compete with common wheat, which yields much more (on average approx. 8 tons per hectare), in those areas.
Today the cultivation of einkorn is particularly suited to extensively cultivated areas, barren soils or in climatic marginal yield regions where there is a risk of drought as, under these conditions, the difference in yield, when compared to other cereals, is lower from the outset. Einkorn is also very good for organic farming, where the maximisation of yields using fertilisers and pesticides is not permitted. Regionally, its cultivation has stood the test of time in places such as south-eastern Europe (Hungary, Bulgaria) or in hilly areas in central Italy.
Einkorn stems grow very long meaning the grain yields a lot of straw, which is, however, also not particularly strong. Especially on sites that are too nutrient-rich, there is the risk that einkorn will grow too tall and collapse. The grains are harvested in the husk. Therefore, (as with spelt, for example) dehusking is necessary to release the kernels. This means that another 40% of the harvest weight must be deducted from the original yield in order to quantify the true grain yield.
The limited yields and the high cost of dehusking necessarily make einkorn a much more exclusive product than common wheat and other cereals. Therefore arguments in favour of einkorn do not come from an economic perspective, according to the concept “more and more, cheaper and cheaper”. On the contrary, einkorn is a quality product that convinces through culinary and health aspects, through its contribution to biodiversity in agriculture and more generally through its authenticity. The undemanding nature of einkorn cultivation also facilitates a very careful approach to nature - which in turn gives us an excellent product.