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Open-pollinated maize varieties: a backward step or valuable option for farmers?

By: Centro Internacional de Mejoramiento de Maiz y Trigo (CIMMYT) Kenya | Pixley, K.V.
Contributor(s): Friesen, D.K.|Palmer, A.F.E | Banziger, M [coaut.].
Material type: materialTypeLabelBookAnalytics: Show analyticsPublisher: Nairobi (Kenya) KARI|CIMMYT : 2002Description: p. 22-28.ISBN: 970-648-120-6.Subject(s): Crop yield | Economic analysis | Experimentation | Farmers | Fertilizers | Growth | Maize | Pollination | Varieties | CIMMYT | KARI | Hybrids AGROVOCSummary: Maize farmers require varieties appropriate to their anticipated level of investment in inputs and ,with high probability of producing an acceptable grain yield when challenged by common biotic and abiotic constraints. The objectives of this study were to quantify the relative genetic advantage of hybrids over OPVs under a range of growing conditions typical for farmers in southern and eastern Africa, both when first- or second-generation ("recycled") seed is used, and to investigate scenarios under which hybrids or OPVs are the more profitable option for farmers. In our first experiment, we found that four elite hybrids consistently produced about 18%. more grain yield than 10 improved elite OPVs when grown at 16 sites with mean yield between 1.8 and 7.3 t ha-l. We proceeded to examine the consequences of recycling or saving grain from hybrid or OPV maize crops for use as seed for subsequent crops. Trials at five sites in Zimbabwe compared planting of FI seed and F2 grain of 10 commercial hybrids, FI and F2 of 10 topcross hybrids (using an OPV as male for a single cross), and F2 and F3 of 10 OPVs. Use of the advanced generation grain instead of Fl (F2 in the case of OPVs) seed resulted in 32%. average yield loss for hybrids, 16% yield loss for topcrosses and 5% yield loss for OPVs. We used these results to conduct simple break-even yield analyses to identify scenarios where use of OPV rather than hybrid varieties might be economically advantageous. We concluded that in some farming systems, particularly where yield levels are low (e.g. below 1.5 t ha-l) and hybrid seed and fertilizer prices are high relative to price of grain, highest return to investment may result from use of improved OPV seed, which is cheaper than hybrid seed and can be recycled with little or no yield loss. The improved OPVs are particularly advantageous if the money saved by using OPV instead of hybrid seed is used to purchase additional inputs such as fertilizer, herbicide or hiring additional labor. Although use of OPV instead of hybrid seed is a backward step in terms of expected grain yield, improved OPVs represent an economical option for resource-poor maize farmers in marginal areas or when hybrid seed and fertilizer prices are high relative to price of grain.Collection: CIMMYT Staff Publications Collection
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Conference proceedings CIMMYT Knowledge Center: John Woolston Library

Lic. Jose Juan Caballero Flores

 

CIMMYT Staff Publications Collection CIS-4154 (Browse shelf) 1 Available 630201
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Maize farmers require varieties appropriate to their anticipated level of investment in inputs and ,with high probability of producing an acceptable grain yield when challenged by common biotic and abiotic constraints. The objectives of this study were to quantify the relative genetic advantage of hybrids over OPVs under a range of growing conditions typical for farmers in southern and eastern Africa, both when first- or second-generation ("recycled") seed is used, and to investigate scenarios under which hybrids or OPVs are the more profitable option for farmers. In our first experiment, we found that four elite hybrids consistently produced about 18%. more grain yield than 10 improved elite OPVs when grown at 16 sites with mean yield between 1.8 and 7.3 t ha-l. We proceeded to examine the consequences of recycling or saving grain from hybrid or OPV maize crops for use as seed for subsequent crops. Trials at five sites in Zimbabwe compared planting of FI seed and F2 grain of 10 commercial hybrids, FI and F2 of 10 topcross hybrids (using an OPV as male for a single cross), and F2 and F3 of 10 OPVs. Use of the advanced generation grain instead of Fl (F2 in the case of OPVs) seed resulted in 32%. average yield loss for hybrids, 16% yield loss for topcrosses and 5% yield loss for OPVs. We used these results to conduct simple break-even yield analyses to identify scenarios where use of OPV rather than hybrid varieties might be economically advantageous. We concluded that in some farming systems, particularly where yield levels are low (e.g. below 1.5 t ha-l) and hybrid seed and fertilizer prices are high relative to price of grain, highest return to investment may result from use of improved OPV seed, which is cheaper than hybrid seed and can be recycled with little or no yield loss. The improved OPVs are particularly advantageous if the money saved by using OPV instead of hybrid seed is used to purchase additional inputs such as fertilizer, herbicide or hiring additional labor. Although use of OPV instead of hybrid seed is a backward step in terms of expected grain yield, improved OPVs represent an economical option for resource-poor maize farmers in marginal areas or when hybrid seed and fertilizer prices are high relative to price of grain.

Genetic Resources Program|Research and Partnership Program

English

0409|AGRIS 0401|AL-Maize Program

Juan Carlos Mendieta

INT1888|INT1617

CIMMYT Staff Publications Collection

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