a state scientific establishment engaged in the testing of varieties and hybrids of agricultural crops and in varietal zoning. Varietal-testing plots are set up at kolkhozes, sovkhozes, experimental farms, and school farms; some plots are run on self-accounting bases.
Varietal-testing plots occupy permanent areas from 3–5 hectares (for decorative plants and hops) to 40–100 hectares (for grain, industrial, and vegetable crops). State varietal-testing plots may be multipurpose (testing different crops) or special-purpose (testing a particular group of crops or a single crop, for example, vegetables, fruits, berries, or cotton). Special types of varietal-testing plots include those that, in addition to testing varieties, study the technology of raising varieties. Special plots are set up on sheltered ground, irrigated land, and drained land.
The State Commission for Testing Varieties of Agricultural Crops of the Ministry of Agriculture of the USSR exercises methodological leadership and coordinates the work of the varietaltesting plots. In 1976 there were more than 1,500 varietal-testing plots in the USSR.