News from the January 2022 Maize and Sorghum Section
At its meeting on 14 January, the CTPS Maize and Sorghum Section studied the conclusions of tests conducted on maize and sorghum varieties. It proposed the registration of 83 maize varieties, including 13 varieties after one year of evaluation, and 9 sorghum varieties.
The Section approved several changes to the maize and sorghum technical regulations in relation to the decision rules for VCUS testing. In particular, it approved the possibility for applicants to provide data acquired in their trial network in the year preceding the application for examination of the variety, as of 2023. In 2020, the Section had already approved the application of the VCUS examination procedure which includes the contribution of the applicant, who provides data acquired the year prior to the VCUS examination. A precise framework was defined for this examination modality and was adapted to take into consideration the extension to data acquired in the year preceding the application for examination of a variety.
The Section has continued to open up evaluation to new maize variety profiles.
The Section approved, from the 2022 campaign, the examination of maize variety applications for listing on list A under the heading “Rich in polyphenols” after verification of the technological claim by means of biochemical analysis on the grain and morphological anlaysis (grain colour) in addition to the required DUS and VCUS tests.
The Section also approved, from 2022 onwards, the examination of maize variety applications for listing on list A under the heading “Grain” or “Fodder” together with the mention “Grown in high density” after verification, in addition to the required DUS and VCUS tests, of the morphological claim, depending on the characteristics declared by the applicant. In this case, the varieties will have the morphological feature of having shortened internodes under the ear and a reduced plant height.
With regard to the revised Seeds and Plants for Sustainable Agriculture plan (SPAD2), the Section was informed of discussions initiated since 2021 by the different CTPS expert groups and validated the approach recommended by the experts based on three stages: taking stock of existing R&D work in progress or to be carried out, defining the desired objectives and initiating methodological or R&D studies where necessary.
The 7 actions of the SPAD2 plan selected for the Section’s roadmap to meet the challenges of the agroecological transition in maize and sorghum are:
Action 4 – Quantify the environmental services of new varieties
Action 9 – Contribute to quality food chains
Action 11 – Strengthen the evaluation of the behaviour of new varieties against pests and diseases in a context of reduced pesticide use
Action 13 – Strengthen the evaluation of variety water-use efficiency
Action 14 – Acquire information on the resilience of new varieties to climatic hazards
Action 15 – Promote the registration of varieties adapted to organic farming
Action 22 – Strengthen the efficiency of evaluation systems and adapt them to new challenges