Statistical analysis can estimate crop performance

Jan 07, 2011

Scientists at Rothamsted Research, United Kingdom, in collaboration with the International Center for Agriculture Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA), Syria have developed a method of accounting for spatial trend in single crop field trials. Spatial trend refers to the variations in crop yield and other characteristics observed when repeating this single crop field trial.

Usually plant breeders will grow several replicate plots to assess the breed line in different environments and then compare the results to commercial or standard varieties of the crop. When resources or seed are scarce, breeders will grow only a single plot of a test line alongside a number of other standard varieties acting as check plots.

"The results have shown that adjustment for spatial trend within the trials is possible and gives improved accuracy on the estimates of line performance," says Sue Welham, one of the authors of the study.

A crop developed by Dr. Miloudi Nachit at ICARDA was used to illustrate spatial trend in this particular experimental design. The teams then used simulations to further demonstrate the dramatic increase in precision in estimating the performance of a line while adjusting for spatial trend. However, these measurements are not without their flaws.

According to Welham, "One drawback to the use of spatial adjustment is the possible subjectivity and difficulty in the choice of a model."

Explore further: Bees able to spot which flowers offer best rewards before landing

More information: www.agronomy.org/publications/… abstracts/102/6/1542

Provided by American Society of Agronomy

4.5 /5 (2 votes)
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

A little nitrogen can go a long way

Sep 03, 2008

With significant increases in the price of fertilizer and grain, site-specific management - especially in variable rate nitrogen application -- can have a significant impact on yield and profitability, as reported in the ...

Where is your soil water? Crop yield has the answer

Jul 01, 2008

Crop yield is highly dependent on soil plant-available water, the portion of soil water that can be taken up by plant roots. Quantitative determination of the maximum amount of plant-available water in soil using traditional ...

Recommended for you

Classic Lewis Carroll character inspires new ecological model

16 hours ago

Inspired by the Red Queen in Lewis Carroll's Through the Looking Glass, collaborators from the University of Illinois and National University of Singapore improved a 35-year-old ecology model to better understand how species ...

User comments : 0