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The utility of hill plots in oat research


From 1955 through 1963, approximately 300,000 hill plots have been used in various experiments in the Iowa small grain research program. When grain yield, plant height, and heading date were measured on the same varieties, the genetic correlations between rod rows and hills were 0.98, 0.96 and 0.96, respectively.

The coefficients of variation for plant height, weight per volume, spikelets per panicle, panicles per plant, weight per 100 seeds were similar for rod rows and hills. However, the coefficients of variability for grain yield ranged from 2 to 5 times larger for hills than for rod rows. Competition between varieties in adjacent hills had little effect on the performance of varieties.

The best method for planting hill plots is the conventional method opening a hole in the soil about 2 inches deep with a hoe, pouring the seed in the hole, and covering it with soil. Rates of planting influenced the expression of grain yield, panicles per plant, and spikelets per panicle, but not weight per 100 seeds and plant height. Approximately 30 seeds per hill appeared the most desirable planting rate.

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Additional information

Journal Paper No. J-5064 of the Iowa Agricultural and Home Economics Experiment Station, Ames, Iowa. Project No. 1176. Received for publication Febr. 23, 1965. In cooperation with the Crops Research Division, Agricultural Research Service, U. S. Department of Agriculture.

Professor of farm crops.

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Frey, K.J. The utility of hill plots in oat research. Euphytica 14, 196–208 (1965).

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  • Plant Height
  • Genetic Correlation
  • Plot Size
  • Experimental Precision
  • Hill Plot