2003-2004: An investigation of varietal characteristics required for sustainable agriculture (VS0128)

This Defra funded research project was carried out in collaboration with NIAB. The purpose of this study was to provide Defra with a review of our current understanding of variety characteristics that may be valuable in the context of existing and sustainable agricultural systems (e.g. 'treated', 'untreated' and organic). This was combined with a review of physiological research that will allow these characters to be broken down into components that can be measured as part of a practical VCU (Value for Cultivation and Use) test. By simultaneously eliminating components of these VCU tests that are inappropriate to the intended agricultural system, it is now possible to produce a more flexible VCU framework which ensures the selection of a wider variety of cultivars appropriate to the increasing diversity within farming.


  • Tzilivakis, J., Lewis K.A., Green, A., Warner, D.J. & Kerr, S. (2003). Investigation of Varietal Characteristics Required for Sustainable Agriculture. Final report for Defra project VS0128.


Dr John Tzilivakis


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University of Hertfordshire
University of Hertfordshire, 2020.