As part of its Centenary celebrations this year, NIAB will be announcing a ‘once in a lifetime’ winner of its prestigious Cereals Cup at the 2019 Cereals Event.
For 2019 the NIAB Cereals Cup will be awarded to the most outstanding UK cereal variety from the past 100 years.
NIAB Technical Director Bill Clark says, “It takes a truly exceptional variety to win the NIAB Cereals in a normal year; we can go several years without awarding the prize. However, this year is a little special for NIAB and we want the Cereals, and its sister award the Variety Cup, to have a role in our celebrations.
“So this year, NIAB specialists will be taking a look at 100 years of crop varieties grown in the UK and assessing them in terms of agronomic value, market influence and lasting impact, most notably in their use in plant breeding programmes. The two varieties that win the Cereals and Variety Cups will be a celebration of the successes of UK farming and plant breeding industries since 1919 and reflect NIAB’s past and present role in variety improvement in all its forms.”
The Cereals Cup has historically been awarded to varieties that show outstanding merit and value in their marketplace, and can be awarded to relative newcomers to the market, particularly if they represent a step forward for the crop. It was first awarded in 1953 to the spring barley Proctor and past winners have included Einstein winter wheat in 2005, Pearl winter barley in 2004, Claire winter wheat in 2001 and most recently Skyfall in 2015.
The winner of the NIAB Variety Cup will be announced later in the year. The Variety Cup will be awarded to the most outstanding UK variety from any other non-cereal crop from the past 100 years. It was first awarded in 1986 to the cauliflower White Rock, usually acknowledges varieties that have made a major contribution to crop productivity through improved quality, disease resistance, grower return or commercial success, and can be drawn from the entire spectrum of horticultural, ornamental and agricultural crops. It was last awarded in 2015 to the grass variety AberGreen.