SAATEN-UNION invests in a complex Europe-wide network of hybrid barley field trials. Year after year, the knowledge of the crop and varieties is being expanded. The trial systems used by breeders, product managers or sales representatives are slightly different. This interaction allows selecting, describing and finally recommending varieties according to the farmers’ specific needs.
Small plot breeder trials
Each hybrid barley variety starts its journey in the breeder’s crossing block. Two major objectives of this specific testing environment are: Crossing parental lines, selecting the best varieties and saving seed of testing candidates. Beside the crossing nurseries, breeders are using replicated small plot trials for screening purposes.
Small plot technology trials
Variety descriptions and recommendations are based on small plot trials with two or more independent variables that are qualitatively independent. In such multifactorial trials it is possible to combine different factors like sowing density, sowing date and nitrogen application. The trials are replicated and randomised. Like that, it is possible to evaluate the specific effect of each factor on the variety.
Demonstration and farm trials
In addition, SAATEN-UNION supplies their customers with demo seed of hybrid barley. One part of this seed is used for marketing purposes on demonstration fields. For demonstration plots hybrid barley varieties are often sown in stripes without replications. The other part of the demo seed is used directly by famers on their commercial fields. Such on-farm trials increase the knowhow about cultivating hybrid barley varieties on farm level.