Federal Plant Variety Office / SFG implementation provisions

Provisions on the implementation of conducting cultivation tests for turf grasses by Sortenförderungsgesellschaft - SFG mbH and the Federal Plant Variety Office

Version: October 2018 (valid from 2019 - 2021 testing cycle, sowing year 2019)

General

  • 1. The applications for variety testing for “cultivation tests for turf grasses” acknowledge that the provisions on the implementation of “cultivation tests for turf grasses” by Sortenförderungsgesellschaft - SFG mbH are binding when they register their varieties for this testing process.
  • 2. Applications for tests in “cultivation tests for turf grasses” organised by the Federal Plant Variety Office and SFG mbH can be submitted by all persons and companies that fulfil the necessary requirements under Sec. 42 Seed Act (SaatG) for varieties which have been submitted for listing in Germany, as well as by owners or representatives of varieties listed or protected in an EU member state.
  • 3. The basis for the technical implementation of “cultivation tests for turf grasses” is the current valid version of the relevant Federal Plant Variety Office guidelines. This can be provided to applicants on request and is published on the Federal Plant Variety Office website.
  • 4. Turf testing is only conducted every 2 years, in odd years, and can be divided into one sowing year and two usage years. Therefore, the following are sowing years: 2019, 2021, 2023, 2025 etc. Applications for inclusion in “cultivation tests for turf grasses” can be submitted at any time. However, varieties for which registration/application occurs after 15th January in the sowing year can only be accepted for testing in the next sowing process, so would have to wait for up to 2 years.

Accessing “cultivation tests for turf grasses”

  • 5. Varieties of species suitable for turf use, for which an application for National Listing has been submitted to the Federal Plant Variety Office, are tested by SFG mbH on request in the “cultivation tests for turf grasses”. The prerequisite for this is that SFG mbH receives the relevant application by 15th January in a sowing year (see 4.).
  • 6. Varieties of turf grass that are listed in an EU member state can be tested by SFG mbH on request in the “cultivation tests for turf grasses”. The prerequisites for this are
    • the listing of the variety to be tested at the point of seeding has been registered for no more than 5 years in an EU member state (submission of a copy of proof of National Listing),
    • the application for testing is received by SFG mbH by 15th January in a sowing year (see 4.).
  • 7. Varieties of grass species suitable for turf use that are not listed in the SaatG species list and are protected in an EU member state, or for which community plant breeders’ rights have been granted, may also be tested by SFG mbH in the “cultivation tests for turf grasses” on request. The prerequisites for this are, again, that
    • the granting of plant breeders’ rights for the variety to be tested within the EU in the sowing year occurred no more than 5 years ago (submission of a copy of proof of plant breeders’ rights),
    • SFG mbH receives the application for “cultivation tests for turf grasses” by 15th January in a sowing year (see 4.).
  • 8. Varieties that are listed in another EU member state or protected within the EU and can be tested in the “cultivation tests for turf grasses” according to the provisions of 6. and 7., are subject to a verification test during DUS testing by the Federal Plant Variety Office. The costs for verification testing are invoiced separately to the applicant by SFG mbH.

Application process

  • 9. Applications for testing turf grasses in the “cultivation tests for turf grasses” can be submitted at any time using the forms provided by the Federal Plant Variety Office and SFG mbH. Varieties will only be sown if the application for testing was made by 15th January in the sowing year, see 4.
  • 10. Regarding adherence to the deadline set by SFG mbH, it is sufficient for the application form to be received by fax by SFG mbH by midnight before the deadline.
  • 11. The original application form and all supplementary documents must be received by SFG mbH 3 working days after the deadline day at the latest.

Conducting “cultivation tests for turf grasses”

  • 12. Depending on the plant species, “cultivation tests for turf grasses” consists of two to four subtests and is conducted at Federal Plant Variety Office sites, sites managed by breeders and other suitable specialist sites. The following subtests are conducted:
    • Test for suitability for home use (HU) at 6 sites
    • Test for suitability for sports use (SU) at 5 sites
    • Test for suitability for low maintenance (LM) at 2 sites
    • Test for suitability for close mowing (CM) at 2 sites
    For subtests for suitability for home use, sports use, low maintenance and close mowing grass, 3 repetitions take place at each site.
  • 13. It is not possible to test individual varieties or species that have a limited number of possible testing sites or to limit testing to certain climate areas in Germany.
  • 14. It is obligatory to check the suitability for grass use of varieties of various species (X) in the following subtests. Testing in additional subtests is possible on request. It is not possible to exclude a variety from one of the obligatory subtests.
    Grass species not listed in the table (see 7.) can be included in the “cultivation tests for turf grasses” on request.
Art GR SR LR TR
Agrostis species (bentgrass) X   X X
Deschampsia caespitosa (tufted hairgrass) X X    
Fsetuca arundinacea(tall fescue) X X    
Festuca ovina (sheep's fescue) X   X  
Festuca rubra rubra (red fescue) X   X  
Festuca rubra commutata (chewing's fescue) X   X X
Festuca rubra trichophylla (short creeping red fescue) X   X X
Koeleria macrantha (crested hair grass) X   X  
Lolium perenne (perennial ryegrass) X X X  
Phleum ssp. (all kinds of timothy grass) X X    
Poa pratensis(Kentucky blue grass) X X X  
Poa supina(supina blue grass) X X   X
Poa ssp. (all other kinds) X   X  

Provision of seeds

  • 15. The Federal Plant Variety Office will request the quantities of seed required for “cultivation testing for turf grasses” at all sites directly from the applicant. The Federal Plant Variety Office deals with the packaging the seeds properly and dispatching the seed material to the testing sites.

Fee scheme for “cultivation tests for turf grasses”

  • 16. SFG charges the fees for a three-year test cycle (sowing year and 2 usage years) in 3 instalments. At the point of sowing, the fees are payable for the entire testing period (see 21).
  • 17. The fees listed are net rates and will be invoiced to the applicant, as well as an SFG mbH administration fee of 7% of the net fee and the statutory value added tax on the net fee and SFG mbH administration fee.
  • 18. The testing fees shall be paid by the deadline given in the invoice issued by SFG mbH. If payment is delayed, additional interest for late payment shall be payable at the standard banking rates.
  • 19. SFG mbH charges the following testing fees per site and year for each variety for the individual subtests:
    • Home use (HU) EUR 100.00
    • Sports use (SU) EUR 120.00
    • Low maintenance (LM) EUR 60.00
    • Close mowing (CM) EUR 150.00
    Below is an example calculation of a net fee for “cultivation tests for turf grasses” and the compulsory subtests for a variety of perennial ryegrass:
Subtes Fee per site [EUR] Number of sites (see 12.) Testing fee per year [EUR] Testing fee for 3 years [EUR] [Euro]
HU 100,00 6 600,00 1.800,00
SU 120,00 5 600,00 1.800,00
LM 60,00 2 120,00 360,00
CM 150,00   0,00 0,00
Total     1.320,00 3.960,00

The fees for varieties of other species are calculated in a similar way. The costs for additional testing in further subtests must be added.

  • 20. The costs for the necessary verification test for varieties that are listed in an EU member state or protected within the EU, and are being tested in the “cultivation tests for turf grasses” (see 6.-8.), will be invoiced separately.
    SFG mbH invoices for the verification tests are sent out once SFG is in possession of the results and the fees invoiced by the official testing sites. SFG mbH invoices the applicant the fees as well as the SFG mbH administration fee and statutory value added tax.

Additional notes

  • 21. As testing spans over several years, it is not possible to withdraw varieties after sowing or after partial completion of the testing period, for example due to an excess of off-types in the sowing material or negative verification tests. Testing fees paid for such varieties are not refunded by SFG mbH.
  • 22. The results for varieties where testing was ended early for one of the reasons listed in 21. are not published in the final report.
  • 23. All varieties, and particularly varieties of grass species not listed in the SaatG species list, and which therefore do not fall under seed regulations, can be required to undergo verification testing to ascertain authenticity in cases where SFG mbH has doubts concerning the seed presented for testing.
    In cases where the authenticity of the seed material being tested cannot be confirmed after further tests being conducted by the Federal Plant Variety Office, the Federal Plant Variety Office can delete the seed from the “Descriptive Variety List turf grasses” or variety overview for standard seed mixtures.

SFG mbH / Federal Plant Variety Office