Greenhouse Canada

North American plant trials database launched

January 4, 2012  By Dave Harrison

Jan. 4, 2012 — All-America Selections and the University of Georgia are
working together to create a web-based plant trials database.

Jan. 4, 2012 — All-America Selections and the University of Georgia are working together to create a web-based plant trials database.

The website – – will serve as a repository for data from participating flower trials throughout North America initially, with options to expand globally.


After identifying the need for standardized trialling protocol as well as a centralized database for the results of those trials, the founding organizations, along with Clarity Connect, a web technology firm from North Carolina, collaborated to provide much-needed benefit to all involved in plant trialling.

For breeders, it will provide data for their plants from the trial grounds they support on a single website. This will allow trial results from various geographic areas to easily be compared.

For trial managers, their energies can be focused on the actual trials since the database has been created with ease of data entry as a topmost priority.

In the future, brokers, growers and retailers will be provided access and will find the data repository extremely useful when analyzing which varieties to choose for their businesses.

Allan Armitage, well known for the extensive trials he’s been running at UGA since 1982, says the website is long overdue.

“This project has been mulling around in my head for a long time because it is time for more collaboration among the trial grounds and breeders. The trial grounds do an excellent job, but for the breeders who support our trials, there needs to be a more complete side-by-side picture of how their plants perform all across North America.”
The following breeding companies have already committed to support and participate in this project:

• Ernst Benary of America.

• Fides Oro.

• Floranova Ltd.

• PanAmerican Seed/Ball Horticultural.

• Proven Winners.

• Sakata Seed.

• Syngenta Flowers.

“We look forward to having additional breeders participate in this great industry resource,” notes the organizers.

There are currently 19 trial gardens that have agreed to participate and use designated standard trial garden procedures.

“Syngenta feels this database is a good idea because there is a lot of valuable information that comes out of the private and university trials that test our products,” says Mike Murgiano, senior seeds market manager with the company. “But it’s always been a challenge to utilize that information to its full potential because of the slightly different ways of scoring and providing feedback. Having standardized data in one single place will make it much easier to compile and share that information with our customers so they can make the decisions on what is best for their customers and the end consumer.”

Programming for the database is underway and the 2012 trial results will be the first ones in the database.

The Trial Gardens will also have the option of uploading historical data to increase the value of the work they have already completed.

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