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ARS Home » Midwest Area » Ames, Iowa » Corn Insects and Crop Genetics Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #337775

Research Project: Managing Insects in the Corn Agro-Ecosystem

Location: Corn Insects and Crop Genetics Research

Title: Maize cultivar performance under diverse organic production systems

item HUFFMAN, RYAN - Iowa State University
item Abel, Craig
item POLLAK, LINDA - Retired ARS Employee
item GOLDSTEIN, WALTER - Mandaamin Institute
item PRATT, RICHARD - New Mexico State University
item SMITH, MARGARET - Cornell University
item MONTGOMERY, KEVIN - Montgomery Consulting
item GRANT, LOIS - New Mexico State University
item Edwards, Jode
item Scott, Marvin

Submitted to: Crop Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/26/2017
Publication Date: 1/15/2018
Citation: Huffman, R.D., Abel, C.A., Pollak, L.M., Goldstein, W., Pratt, R.C., Smith, M.E., Montgomery, K., Grant, L., Edwards, J.W., Scott, M.P. 2018. Maize cultivar performance under diverse organic production systems. Crop Science. 58(1):253-263.

Interpretive Summary: Corn is important in organic production systems as a component of animal feed and food, however very few hybrids are designed for and evaluated in organic production systems. In this manuscript we constructed a series of corn hybrids from inbred lines developed for use in organic production systems and evaluated these hybrids in organic production systems over a wide geographical range. Several hybrids performed well outside of the region they were developed in, and the value of testing environments did not correspond to their geographical location. This information illustrates the value of evaluating varieties developed in different regions and of evaluating varieties in regions other than those in which they were developed. These conclusions are important to plant breeders because availability of breeding varieties and testing sites are important limitations. This work will facilitate the development of corn hybrids that meet the needs of organic producers, increasing the profitability of organic production systems.

Technical Abstract: Maize cultivar performance can vary widely among different production systems. The need for high-performing hybrids for organic systems with wide adaptation to various macroenvironments is becoming increasingly important. The goal of this study was to characterize inbred lines developed by distinct breeding programs for their combining ability and hybrid yield performance across geographically diverse environments. The parent lines were selected from five different breeding programs to give a sample of publically available germplasm with potential for use in organic production systems. A North Carolina Design II mating design was used to produce all possible cross combinations between seven lines designated as males and seven lines designated as females. A significantly positive general combining ability for the female inbred UHF134 suggests it performs well in hybrid combination while the absence of a significant general combining ability for any male inbred line indicates that none of the males outperformed the rest of the group in this study. Several significantly positive specific combining abilities suggest that non-additive genetic effects play an important role in determining yield in this germplasm. Further hybrid and environment analysis revealed that in some cases crossing two inbreds from different breeding programs produced hybrids, such as LH132/B116, with high yield performance and stability. In this study, hybrids containing at least one Ex-PVP line or one inbred adapted to the Corn Belt performed well across all test environments and organic production systems.