The development of new varieties of crops is critical to the success and sustainability of farming systems throughout the world. As the world’s population continues to grow, it will be necessary to produce more and more food from the world’s finite arable land. Hence new higher yielding plants, plants that produce higher quality products and plants that survive and produce in marginal areas are needed to maintain world food production.
An integral part of developing these new varieties is testing the breeding lines that researchers develop under a range of growing conditions to ascertain that they do possess the ability to produce higher yields or higher quality products in often very challenging conditions than the currently available varieties grown by farmers. For this to happen carefully controlled scientific field trials must be undertaken in various locations that are suited to growing the crop under consideration. Only then can we be sure that the new varieties that will be released as a result of this breeding work are indeed superior to existing varieties.