Final report on the temporary experiment for the marketing of seed of populations
On 28 February 2021, the EU Commission's temporary experiment on populations of the species oats, barley, wheat and maize ended (Decision 2014/150/EU). During the experiments period from 2014 to 2021, it was permitted to market seed from authorised populations of these species.
Eight Member States (Germany, Denmark, France, Italy, Latvia, Netherlands, Hungary, United Kingdom) participated in the temporary experiment. A total of 46 populations were authorised - these were mainly wheat populations (84%). Seed was produced from 26 populations and marketed from 22 populations.
As part of the experiment, Italy carried out extensive analyses to morphologically characterise populations. Germany investigated the yield potential and the susceptibility of the populations to pests and diseases.
Results showed that populations differ from each other in yield, quality and resistance characteristics. Although, they can be identified by morphological characterisation and statistical methods, this is associated with a very high expenditure of time and financial resources.
Thus, the identification of populations cannot be ensured during regular field inspection and post control inspection. Field inspection can only assess the health status, general appearance of the plants and contamination with other species. Seed identity can be ensured by establishing traceability requirements and a control system.
Overall, it can be said that the concept of populations was successful when networks and supply chains were developed at the same time.