Annual meeting of the European VCU group
The 14th seminar of the European VCU group brought together VCU experts from 22 examination offices in September. The meeting was organised by Agroscope (Switzerland). Representatives from the European Commission presented the revision process of the European seed regulation and underlined the importance of a strong national listing system and an evaluation of crop value and use taking into account sustainability issues in the context of climate change. The offices shared the changes they are implementing in their evaluation and national listing systems to adapt to these issues:
– protocols for emerging pests,
– adaptation of experimental conditions in response to effects from climate change and solutions for reducing chemical pesticide use,
– development of protocols for new species (e.g. chickpea) or new uses (e.g. medicinal hemp),
– evaluation for organic production with a testimony of the experience of GEVES on the complementarity between evaluation for conventional and organic farming…
GEVES also spoke about the progress made in 2 research programmes: OPTIRES and H2020 RUSTWATCH: https://www.geves.fr/research-development/research-activities/evaluation-of-varieties-in-their-environment/
Researchers, including from INRAE, presented their work and its possible contributions to variety testing. The INVITE and INNOVAR projects were discussed in particular, with themes concerning phenotyping in order to refine characterisation or increase the efficiency of experimentation, or modelling in order to characterise trial networks and analyse the performance of varieties.