Guidance

VCU protocols and procedures for testing agricultural crops

Protocols and procedures for testing the value for cultivation or use (VCU) of agricultural crops.

As part of the application process to add an agricultural crop to the National List, the plant must be tested to confirm whether the variety has satisfactory value for cultivation or use (VCU).

The growing trials for all crops, except potatoes, are organised by the British Society of Plant Breeders (BSPB). The trials for potatoes are organised by Science and Advice for Scottish Agriculture (SASA).

These trials are normally carried out for a minimum of 2 years, comparing the performance of candidate varieties with varieties already on the National Lists.

The trials use the VCU protocols and procedures approved by the Plant Variety and Seeds Committee, which represents the national authorities on seed issues to establish VCU.

Protocols

Please email pvs.helpdesk@apha.gov.uk if you need a copy of the VCU protocols for any of the following crops:

  • cereals
  • field bean
  • field pea
  • forage and grain maize
  • grasses (perennial, Italian and hybrid ryegrasses, tall and meadow fescue, timothy and festulolium)
  • minor crops
  • red clover and lucerne
  • potato
  • spring oilseed rape
  • white clover
  • winter oilseed rape

Trials

Procedures – for 2023 harvest

Minor crops for 2023

Procedures – for 2022 harvest

Minor crops for 2022

Procedures – for 2021 harvest

Minor crops for 2021

Procedures – for 2020 harvest

Minor crops for 2020

Procedures – for 2014 harvest

Trials

Published 15 June 2015
Last updated 26 September 2022 + show all updates
  1. Added minor crops for 2023 section.

  2. Added VCU procedures for harvest 2023: field peas, spring oilseed rape, sugar beet and winter oilseed rape.

  3. Added 2023 harvest procedures for cereals and field beans.

  4. Added VCU procedure for harvest 2022: potato.

  5. Published VCU procedures for harvest 2022: cereals, field beans, field peas, forage and grain maze, grasses, minor crops introduction, fodder beet, fodder kale, fodder radish, forage oat, forage rape, forage rye, hemp, linseed and flax, mustard, soya bean, spring lupin, sunflower, swede, red clover and lucern, spring oil seed rape, sugar beet, white clover and winter oil seed rape.

  6. Replaced PDF VCU protocols for some crops with email address to contact for a copy.

  7. Published VCU procedures for harvest 2021: cereals, spring oilseed rape, winter oilseed rape, minor crops introduction, hemp, linseed, mustard, soya bean, spring lupin and sunflower. Removed VCU procedures for harvest 2019.

  8. Added linseed VCU procedure to the Harvest 2020 minor crops.

  9. Added VCU procedures for harvest 2020 for main crops (forage oats, grasses, potato, red clover and lucerne, and white clover) and minor crops (fodder kale, fodder radish, forage rape, forage rye, hemp and swede).

  10. Added VCU procedure for harvest 2020: forage and grain maize

  11. Added VCU procedures for harvest 2020: sugar beet and fodder beet.

  12. Updated VCU procedures for cereal and winter oilseed

  13. Updated VCU protocol for minor crops.

  14. Added procedure for harvest 2019: forage and grain maize

  15. Addition of Field Bean and Pea 2020 protocol

  16. Addition of 2020 Harvest

  17. Further procedures added for 2019 harvest

  18. Sugar beet added to Procedures for 2019 harvest.

  19. Addition of Trial Procedures for Official Examination of Value for Cultivation and use (VCU) Harvest 2019 Swede to 'minor crops' under 'procedures for 2019 harvest'.

  20. Field beans protocol 2019 updated

  21. Procedures for 2019 harvest - cereals, winter oilseed and linseed documents updated

  22. Added procedures for harvest 2019 - Cereals (wheat, barley, oats, triticale, rye, spelt wheat)

  23. VCU procedures for field beans 2019 harvest added

  24. Procedures for 2019 harvest, Winter oilseed rape document updated

  25. VCU procedure for linseed updated

  26. Added procedures for harvest 2019 - spring oilseed rape, field peas, minor crop introduction, linseed, mustard, soya bean, spring lupin and sunflower

  27. Added procedure for harvest 2018 - potato and harvest 2019 - winter oilseed rape. Removed harvest 2017 documents.

  28. Potato protocol updated

  29. Added harvest 2018 procedures - grasses and white clover

  30. Added procedure for harvest 2018 - sugar beet

  31. Added procedure for harvest 2018 - maise, red clover, fodder kale, forage rape and forage rye.

  32. Added procedure for harvest 2018 - spring oilseed rape and winter oilseed rape

  33. Updated harvest 2018 procedure - cereals and linseed

  34. Added procedure for harvest 2018 - field beans

  35. Updated harvest 2018 procedure - cereals

  36. Updated harvest 2018 procedure - cereals

  37. Added harvest 2018 procedures - cereals, field peas, minor crops, linseed, mustard, soya bean, spring lupin and sunflower

  38. Updated VCU protocol sugar beet

  39. Updated sugar beet 2017 harvest procedures

  40. Harvest 2017 procedures - added potato and sugar beet, updated spring oilseed rape. Removed harvest 2016 procedures.

  41. Added harvest 2017 procedures - grasses, red clover and white clover

  42. Added harvest 2017 procedures - forage and maize and fodder kale

  43. Added harvest 2017 procedures - forage rape, forage rye and swede in minor crops

  44. Updated field peas 2017 harvest procedures

  45. Updated spring oilseed and linseed 2017 harvest procedures

  46. Updated cereal and winterseed oil harvest 2017 documents

  47. Updated field beans and field peas 2017 harvest procedures

  48. Added spring oilseed rape procedure for 2017 harvest

  49. Added cereals (wheat, barley, oats, triticale, rye, spelt wheat) procedure for 2017 harvest

  50. Procedures for 2017 harvest published

  51. Added grasses (perennial, Italian and hybrid ryegrass, Timothy and festulolium) and white clover procedures for 2016 harvest

  52. Added procedures 2016 harvest - forage and grain maize, red clover and lucerne, fodder kale, forage rape, forage rye and swede

  53. Procedures for potato for 2016 harvest published

  54. Sugar beet harvest 2016 procedure added

  55. Published cereals VCU procedures harvest 2016

  56. Added field beans, field peas and spring lupin to procedures for 2016 harvest.

  57. Procedures for oilseed rape for 2016 harvest published.

  58. Published VCU procedure for red clover and lucerne for 2015 harvest

  59. Published VCU procedure for cereals for 2015 harvest

  60. Procedures for 2015 harvest documents published.

  61. First published.