Bundessortenamt

Rules for the Conduct of “Cultivation Tests for Turf Grasses” by the Sortenförderungsgesellschaft - SFG mbH and the German Plant Variety Office (Bundessortenamt - BSA)

Release: November 2015 (valid as from test cycle 2015- 2017, year of sowing 2015)

General Remarks

  • 1) By filing an “Application for Admittance to a Cultivation Test for Turf Grasses” for a plant variety, the applicant recognizes these “Rules for the Conduct of Cultivation Tests for Turf Grasses” of the Sortenförderungsgesellschaft – SFG mbH as binding.
  • 2) Eligible for admittance to a cultivation test as turf grass is any plant variety for which an application under § 42 German Seed Marketing Act (SaatG) has been filed as well as any plant variety which has been listed or protected in another EU member state; the application can be filed by the owner of the plant variety or by a representative of such owner.
  • 3) Cultivation tests for turf grasses are conducted in compliance with the technical rules and regulations laid down in the most recent version of the respective guidelines of the German Plant Variety Office (BSA). These have been published on the website of the German Plant Variety Office and can be provided to the applicant on his request.
  • 4) Cultivation Tests for Turf Grasses take place biannually and are started in unsquare years. The entire trial cycle comprises the year of sowing and two years of utilization. This means that the sowing is carried out in the following years: 2015, 2017, 2019, 2021, etc. Applications for Admittance to the Cultivation Tests for Turf Grasses can be filed at any time, but if the application was received after January, 15th of the year of sowing, the respective plant variety will be taken into account for the next following sowing period, which means up to two years after the date of filing the application.

Eligibility for “Cultivation Tests for Turf Grasses”

  • 5) Plant varieties of grass species which are suitable for use as turf grass can be tested on request in the Cultivation Tests for Turf Grasses provided that an application for national listing has been filed with the German Plant Variety Office (Bundessortenamt, BSA). The request has to be filed with the Sortenförderungsgesellschaft (SFG) mbH until January, 15th of the year of sowing (cf. Section 4).
  • 6) Plant varieties of turf grasses listed in another EU member state can be tested on request in the Cultivation Tests for Turf Grasses,
    • provided that in the year of sowing, no more than 5 years have lapsed since the plant variety in question has been listed in another EU member state (a copy of the certificate of listing has to be included), and
    • provided that the “Application for Acceptance to the Cultivation Tests for Turf Grasses” has been filed with the Sortenförderungsgesellschaft (SFG) mbH until January, 15th, of the year of sowing at the latest (cf. Section 4).
  • 7) Plant varieties of grass species suitable for use as turf grass which have not been included in the List of Species of the German Seed Marketing Act (SaatG) but have either been granted plant breeders’ rights in another EU member state or Community plant breeders’ rights, can also be tested on request in the Cultivation Tests for Turf Grasses, here again
    • provided that in the year of sowing, no more than 5 years have lapsed since the granting of the plant breeders’ right in question within the European Union (a copy of the plant breeders’ rights certificate has to be included), and
    • provided that the “Application for Acceptance to the Cultivation Tests for Turf Grasses” has been filed until January, 15th, of the year of sowing at the latest (cf. Section 4).
  • 8) Plant varieties which have been listed in another EU member state or which have been protected within the EU and are eligible for testing in the Cultivation Tests for Turf Grasses under the conditions laid down in Sections 6 and 7 will have to undergo a varietal identity test carried out by the German Plant Variety Office (Bundessortenamt, BSA) within the framework of DUS testing. SFG mbH will charge the applicant for the additional expenses for this varietal identity test.

Application

  • 9) The “Application for Acceptance to the Cultivation Tests for Turf Grasses” can be filed at any time on the application forms provided by the German Plant Variety Office (Bundessortenamt, BSA) or the SFG mbH. However, no plant variety will be accepted in a given year of sowing for which the application was filed later than January, 15th of the year of sowing (cf. Section 4).
  • 10) It is sufficient that SFG mbH receives the application form on January, 15th, until 12:00 pm via fax for an application to be deemed to have been received in due time.
  • 11) The original application form with all enclosures needs to be received by SFG mbH not later than 3 business days after that date.

Conduct of the “Cultivation Test for Turf Grasses”

  • 12) The “Cultivation Test for Turf Grasses” consists in 2 to at maximum 4 separate part-trials, depending on the plant species, and will be sown at trial plots of the German Plant Variety Office, at trial plots of plant breeders or at other suitably skilled facilities. The following part-trials will be carried out:
    • Trial for suitability for home use (HU) at 6 sites
    • Trial for suitability for sports use (SU) at 5 sites
    • Trial for suitability for low-maintenance lawn (LM) at 2 sites
    • Trial for suitability for close mowing (CM) at 2 sites
    Three random sample plots will be sown for each of the part-trials (home use, sports use, low-maintenance and close mowing).
  • 13) The number of trial sites for individual varieties or plant species cannot be reduced, nor can the trials be restricted to certain climatic zones in Germany.
  • 14) The following table shows which part-trials are compulsory for which plant species (marked “X”). Testing in additional part-trials is possible on request. It is not possible to exempt a plant variety from a compulsory trial.
    Grass species not mentioned in the table (cf. Section 7) can be included on request in the Cultivation Tests for Turf Grasses.
SpeciesHome UseSports UseLow-maintenanceClose mowingAmount of Seed needed (kg)
Agrostis species (bent grass - all types)X XX1.0
Deschampsia caespitosa (Tufted hair grass)XX 2.0
Festuca arundinacea (Tall fescue)XX  3.5
Festuca ovina (Sheeps fescue)X X 3.0
Festuca rubra rubra (Creeping red fescue)X X 3.3
Festuca rubra commutata (Chewings red fescue)X XX3.5
Festuca rubra trichophylla (Short creeping red fescue)X XX3.5
Koeleria macrantha (Crested hair grass)X X 2.0
Lolium perenne (Perennial ryegrass)XXX 3.5
Phleum ssp. (Timothy - all types)XX  2.0
Poa pratensis (Kentucky blue grass)XXX 3.0
Poa supina (Supina blue grass)XX X2.5
Poa ssp. (all other types)X  2.5

Provision of seeds

  • 15) The German Plant Variety Office (Bundessortenamt, BSA) will directly order the amount of seeds necessary for carrying out the „Cultivation Tests for Turf Grasses” at all trial sites from the applicant. The German Plant Variety Office will undertake the appropriate trial-specific packaging and the dispatch to the trial sites.

Fee Scheme for the “Cultivation Tests for Turf Grasses”

  • 16) SFG mbH will charge the fees for a three-year trial cycle (year of sowing and two years of utilization) in three instalments. After the initial sowing has taken place, fees are payable for the entire trial period (cf. Section 21).
  • 17) The fees listed below are net fees excluding the administrative charge of SFG mbH which amounts to 7 % of the net fees, and excluding any value added taxes which are calculated on the basis of the sum of the net fees plus the administrative charges of SFG mbH.
  • 18) When invoiced by SFG mbH, the trial fees have to be paid within the stated credit terms; otherwise, interest on arrears will be charged at the usual bank interest rates.
  • 19) SFG mbH will charge the following net trial fees per trial site and year for each part-trial:
    • Home Use (HU) 100.00 €
    • Sports Use (SU) 120.00 €
    • Low-maintenance (LM) 60.00 €
    • Close mowing (CM) 150.00 €
    The calculation of the net trial fee for the Cultivation Trial for Turfgrass is shown in the table below for the example of perennial ryegrass and its compulsory part-trials.
Part-TrialFees per Trial Site [Euros] Number of Trial Sites
(cf. Sec 12)
Trial Fees per Year [Euros] Trial Fees for 3 years [Euros]
Home Use 100.00 600.00 1,800.00
Sports Use 120.00 5 600.00 1,800.00
Low-maintenance60.00 2 120.00 360.00
Close mowing 150.00 0 0.00 0.00
Sum  1,320.00 3,960.00

The fees for plant varieties of other species can be calculated in a similar way. Costs of voluntary part-trials, if any, must be added.

  • 20) The costs for the varietal identity tests necessary for any plant varieties listed in another EU member state or protected within the EU which entered into the Cultivation Trial for Turf Grasses (cf. Sections 6 to 8) will be charged separately. SFG mbH will invoice these fees after completion of the varietal identity tests, as soon as SFG mbH it has been notified the result of the varietal identity trial and the test fees invoiced by the official authority having carried out these tests. SFG mbH will invoice these fees plus an administrative charge and value added taxes.

Supplementary Notes

  • 21) Since the test-cycle comprises more than one year, it is not possible to withdraw a plant variety once the sowing is completed or at any later stage of the entire test cycle, e.g. because of an excess of off-types in the sowing material or as a consequence of a negative result of the varietal identity test. Fees paid for such plant varieties will not be reimbursed by SFG mbH.
  • 22) If a test has to be broken off for the reasons stated in Section 21, the results will not be published in the final report.
  • 23) In case of reasonable doubt concerning the varietal identity, SFG mbH is entitled to initiate varietal identity tests of the German Plant Variety Office (Bundessortenamt, BSA) for the seeds placed onto the market of any plant variety of turf grasses, but in particular for plant varieties which are not included in the list of species of the German Seed Marketing Act (SaatG) and which are therefore not subject to the seed marketing rules and regulations.
    In case a repetition of the varietal identity test of the German Plant Variety Office (Bundessortenamt, BSA) still cannot ascertain the varietal identity of the seeds in question, the BSA can remove the respective plant variety from the “Descriptive List of Turf Grasses” (“Beschreibende Sortenliste”) and/or from the “List of Plant Varieties in Standard Seed Mixtures” (“Sortenübersicht der Regel-Saatgutmischungen (RSM)”.

SFG mbH / BSA

Rules for the Conduct of 'Cultivation Tests for Turf Grasses' by the Sortenförderungsgesellschaft - SFG mbH and the German Plant Variety Office (Bundessortenamt - BSA) - PDF-Download

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