Reforms to Cut Testing Costs by Third
NEW arrangements for National Listing of crop varieties, now confirmed by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, will help strengthen the relevance and effectiveness of variety evaluation, and keep spiralling costs in check by reducing the scope for unnecessary or duplicated trials work.
The British Society of Plant Breeders has welcomed the UK Testing Authorities' decision to move towards a more integrated system of variety testing and recommendation, with National List tests limited to the minimum required by EU legislation.
Trial sites, to be managed by BSPB under licence from the UK Testing Authorities, will be dual-purpose, generating data not only for NL decisions but also for use by variety evaluation organisations in preparing their Descriptive or Recommended Lists. BSPB already has a proven track record in conducting officially licensed National List trials, managed to defined protocols and subject to independent audit and validation.
Initially, the new arrangements will apply this year to trials of spring- sown oats and peas. For the first time, this will mean a consistent set of trial protocols used to produce information for National List decisions by the UK National Authorities and Recommended List decisions by CEL (oats) and PGRO (peas). This will pave the way for similar changes to be introduced across all the major crop species. …