The first step in creating the National Plant Trials Database, a repository for trial data, was to create a set of Standardized Trialing Protocols along with a Minimum Set of Standardized Scoring Procedures. After those two things were created, we invited various trial grounds to participate. Click the tab entitled "Trial Gardens" to see the current list of participating trial garden locations.
Then we invited the flower breeders to participate. A complete list of sponsoring breeders can be found in the "Sponsors" tab and we welcome new breeders to join at any time.
Each sponsoring breeder has uploaded the new varieties they will trial for this season and have provided the trial grounds of their choice with the seeds or cuttings of those varieties. After the trialing season, those trial managers will enter their respective trial data into the database this site provides.
Frequently asked questions:
Q: Does this mean that each breeder as to support every single one of these trial sites equally?
A: No, breeders can still support any trial they choose, to the extent they choose. Only those companies who choose to pay the initiation launch fee and the yearly fee will have their varieties on the National Trials Database. Breeders determine how many varieties are at each trial site.
Q: How much does it cost?
A: For the trial grounds, there is no fee to participate. For breeders, there is an initial fee of $3,000 and then a $1,200 annual usage fee that will be invoiced each January.
Q: What about the breeding companies who elect to not pay the initiation launch fee? Can they later pay just the $1,200 and still get full benefits?
A: No, all breeding companies will have to pay the $3,000 fee before they are able to include their varieties in the trials and use the National Trials Database. Then they will also pay the $1,200 annual usage fee.
Q: What about the fees the trial grounds charge the breeders?
A: Nothing will change as that is the program put in place by each trial ground and has no direct connection to the National Plant Trials Database.
Q: Will this site information be available to consumers?
A: Not yet. We have listened to the sponsoring breeding companies and took the step of making the information available to the industry in late 2013. The next step is to make it available to consumers but that will come when the breeders feel ready.
Q: Who can view the trial information?
A: Right now, professionals in the horticulture industry can register to use the site and view the results. Once you are participating and have your own login and password, you can see the most current breakdown of people who are accesssing the site. See graph below to see user groupls as percentages of total. As of May 29, 2015 there are 648 professionals with accounts to access the trial results.
As with any idea in its infancy/toddler stage, we anticipate that this concept will continue to grow, change and become more robust. We mention this because as of right now, the trialing requirements are pretty basic and we will depend on the participants to direct us on which improvements and enhancements they want to see with this site.