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Understanding the diversity in yield potential and stability among commercial sorghum hybrids can inform crop designs

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Clarke, S. J., McLean, J., George-Jaeggli, B., McLean, G., de Voil, P., Eyre, J. X. and Rodriguez, D. (2019) Understanding the diversity in yield potential and stability among commercial sorghum hybrids can inform crop designs. Field Crops Research, 230 . pp. 84-97. ISSN 03784290 (ISSN)


Article Link: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.fcr.2018.10.010


Reducing yield gaps in dryland cropping depends on our capacity to identify combinations of genetics (G) and management (M) (i.e. crop designs, G × M) that best suit site and seasonal conditions (the environment, E). We combined empirical and modelling approaches to characterise and explain the yield stability and yield potential of commercial sorghum hybrids when grown under a range of agronomic managements and environments yielding between 3 and 12 t ha−1. The empirical data includes two seasons (2014-15 and 2015–2016) of on-farm and on-research station trials conducted across six sites in Queensland, Australia. Agronomic management treatments included plant density, row configuration, level of irrigation and fertiliser inputs, and time of sowing. Six hybrids contrasting in maturity and tillering type were characterised relative to the industry standard MR-Buster in terms of yield potential, yield stability (bi), and an expected utility index that combines both indices. A medium-late maturity and high tillering hybrid (MR-Scorpio), had the highest utility rank and showed high bi values due to high tiller productivity. A variety of significant row spacing and configuration, and plant density effects on yield were observed, but these were inconsistent across sites and seasons. A long-term simulation experiment across contrasting environments was used to identify hybrid traits and managements capable of modifying yield stability. Combined with the empirical data, the simulations suggest hybrids showing high biomass production and multiple productive tillers can increase the response of yield to the productivity of the environment, whereas reducing the thermal time to floral initiation may increase the stability of yields across environments. Expected changes in hybrid rank due to such G × E interactions, along with the complex effects of management on yield, increase the need to match crop design to specific sites and seasons. The value of targeted crop design depends on the diversity of traits among commercial hybrids and the availability of a skilful seasonal climate forecast to allow farmers to match hybrids and management to prevailing and expected seasonal conditions. © 2018

Item Type:Article
Business groups:Crop and Food Science
Additional Information:Open access Crown Copyright © 2018 Published by Elsevier B.V. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/BY-NC-ND/4.0/).
Keywords:APSIM Crop design Crop stress Cultivar Genotype by environment interaction Scorpio
Subjects:Science > Botany > Genetics
Agriculture > Agriculture (General) > Methods and systems of culture. Cropping systems
Plant culture > Field crops > Sorghum
Live Archive:17 Jan 2019 03:53
Last Modified:03 Sep 2021 16:44

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