Challenges to Crop Improvement: Chairman’s Introduction
In the preceding chapters there are many references to the need to improve yield, quality, and the stability of yield and quality. Particular references have been increasing the yield potential. Probably equally important is to find means to evaluate the yield potential. We know, for example, that present corn cultures have high potentials for yield. About a decade ago a world record for corn production on non-irrigated land was set in southeastern Michigan. The yield was 306 bushels per acre on a 20 acre field. Clearly a standard hybrid like Funks G4444, the one grown in this field, has a genetic potential for high yield. What was unique about the procedures by this one farmer who was able to realize this high yield? Can it be reproduced? One fact that is clear is that we as researchers are unable to set up demonstration plots to show farmers how to consistently get 300 bushels per acre. That one year and one field are not just a querk because 350 bushels per acre were produced in a commercial field in Michigan a few years later, again with a commercial hybrid, but this time with some irrigation.
KeywordsPowdery Mildew Leaf Rust Yield Potential Stem Rust Genetic Potential
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