Suitability test for turf grasses

Notes on Federal Plant Variety Office turf testing

On 14th December 2004, the German Plant Breeders Association (BDP) and the Federal Plant Variety Office adopted a common concept for conducting suitability testing for turf grasses. This came into force as of the sowing year 2005. The principles published in the Official Gazette, 8th year, 1975, Issue 6, p. 125 were therefore annulled.

The trial management is based on close cooperation between plant breeders and the Federal Plant Variety Office, as the budgetary framework does not allow for turf testing by the Federal Plant Variety Office in its sole responsibility without sufficient legal grounds.

Details of the new testing system can be found in the "provisions on conducting cultivation tests for turf grasses by Sortenförderungsgesellschaft –SFG mbH and the Federal Plant Variety Office“.

The core ideas of the new concept are:

  • organisational/technical performance of testing under the management of the Federal Plant Variety Office
  • Sortenförderungsgesellschaft mbH (SFG mbH) takes over administrative tasks (testing applications, financial matters)
  • Testing fees are paid by SFG mbH to testing applicants
  • Tests conducted at Federal Plant Variety Office sites, breeders’ premises, university premises and premises of companies in the turf industry
  • Evaluation, reporting and publication (Descriptive Variety List on turf grasses) coordinated by the Federal Plant Variety Office.

The testing regulations agreed with the BDP also provide that, in addition to the varieties for which applications for listing as turf grasses have been submitted, varieties will be accepted for testing that do not conform to provisions of seed law, providing that suitability for turf use is evident or expected. In addition, varieties that are listed or protected in other member states can be tested on request.

The abovenamed implementation provisions are also published on the websites of the BDP and SFG mbH. Breeders of grasses can also download the application form required for testing from these sites.

The editions of the “Descriptive Variety List turf grasses” published since 2008 are put together on the basis of these testing procedures.