InnoVar – New generation of varietal tests to improve production on European farms

The InnoVar project, a project under the Horizon 2020 programme, aims to increase and improve, at European level, the efficiency and accuracy of varietal testing in order to facilitate decision-making, using an integrated approach that includes genomics, phenotyping and machine learning.

In this way, trials were planned in 18 locations spread over 11 countries, encompassing VCU (Value for Cultivation), drought, organic durum wheat and DUS (Distinctness, Uniformity and Stability) trials. These trial sites were divided into 5 agro-climatic zones: Continental, Pannonian, Mediterranean, South Maritime, and North Maritime.

More than 250 soft wheat varieties, and more than 250 durum wheat varieties were selected by the trial managers to be grown here. Seed distribution has been completed for autumn 2020 sowing, with the first results to be recorded in spring 2021.

In Italy, in March 2021, there were some difficulties related to the germination capacity of the seeds and the accumulation of water in some plots, with serious consequences on the growth and development of these plants.

However, most varieties from other agro-climatic zones continue to grow well, both in VCU and DUS trials, although certain varieties have shown a low seed germination rate, showing negative effects at the emergence stage.

Currently, according to Dr Kate Storer (Senior Researcher at ADAS) “There are no clear differences between varieties yet, but we are monitoring the plots so we can report back if differences start to appear.”

To follow the results of the project and stay up to date with all the news, follow the social networks (Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn) and find out more on the InnoVar website at: https://www.h2020innovar.eu/

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