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NEWS: NIAB to award Centenary variety honours at Cereals Event

01 April 2019

NIAB CentenaryAs part of its Centenary celebrations this year, NIAB will be announcing two ‘once in a lifetime’ winners of its prestigious Cereals Cup and Variety Cup at the 2019 Cereals Event.

For 2019 the NIAB Cereals Cup will be awarded to the most outstanding UK wheat variety from the past 100 years and the Variety Cup to the most outstanding UK variety in any other crop.

NIAB Technical Director Bill Clark says, “It takes a truly exceptional variety to win the NIAB Cereals and Variety Cups in a normal year; we can go several years without awarding either Cup. However, this year is a little special for NIAB and we want the Cereals and Variety Cups to have a role in our celebrations.NIAB Cereals Cup

“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 Variety Cup, 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.