Farmer Participatory Early-Generation Yield Testing of Sorghum in West Africa: Possibilities to Optimize Genetic Gains for Yield in Farmers’ Fields

Rattunde, H F W and Michel, S and Leiser, W L and Piepho, H P and Diallo, C and Brocke, K v and Diallo, B and Haussmann, B I G and Weltzien, E (2016) Farmer Participatory Early-Generation Yield Testing of Sorghum in West Africa: Possibilities to Optimize Genetic Gains for Yield in Farmers’ Fields. Crop Science, 56 (5). pp. 2493-2505. ISSN 0011-183X

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The effectiveness of on-farm and/or on-station early generation yield testing was examined to maximize the genetic gains for sorghum yield under smallholder famer production conditions in West Africa. On-farm first-stage yield trials (augmented design, 150 genotypes with subsets of 50 genotypes tested per farmer) and second-stage yield trials (replicated α-lattice design, 21 test genotypes) were conducted, as well as on-station α-lattice first- and second-stage trials under contrasting phosphorous conditions. On-farm testing was effective, with yield showing significant genetic variance and acceptable heritabilities (0.56 in first- and 0.61 to 0.83 in second-stage trials). Predicted genetic gains from on-station yield trials were always less than from direct testing on-farm, although on-station trials under low-phosphorus and combined over multiple environments improved selection efficiencies. Modeling alternative designs for on-farm yield testing (augmented, farmer-as-incomplete-block, multiple lattice, and augmented p-rep) indicated that acceptable heritabilities (0.57 to 0.65) could be obtained with all designs for testing 150 progenies in 20 trials and 75 plots per farmer. Ease of implementation and risk of errors would thus be key criteria for choice of design. Integrating results from on-station and on-farm yield testing appeared beneficial as progenies selected both by on-farm and on-station first-stage trials showed higher on-farm yields in second-stage testing.

Item Type: Article
Divisions: RP-Dryland Cereals
CRP: CGIAR Research Program on Dryland Cereals
Uncontrolled Keywords: Plant Materials, On-Farm Trials, On-Station Trials, Sorghum, West Africa
Subjects: Mandate crops > Sorghum
Others > Genetics and Genomics
Others > Africa
Depositing User: Mr Ramesh K
Date Deposited: 27 Jul 2016 06:15
Last Modified: 05 Jan 2017 14:32
Official URL:
Acknowledgement: The contributions of Malian farmers and field staff of the Association des Organisations Paysans Professionels (AOPP), Union Local de Producteurs de Cereals (ULPC), Association d’Eveil Malienne pour la Developpement Durable (AMEDD), Cooperatives des semenciers du Mande (COOPROSEM), Institut d’Economie Rural and International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) for the conduct of the yield trials is greatly appreciated. The support of the McKnight Foundation and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation for the farmer field testing is sincerely appreciated. The work was undertaken as a part of the CGIAR Research Program on Dryland Cereals.
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