Do open-pollinated maize varieties perform better than hybrids in agroforestry systems?

Alain Ndoli*, Frédéric Baudron, Tesfaye Shiferaw Sida, Antonius G.T. Schut, J. van Heerwaarden, Ken E. Giller

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

A large body of evidence demonstrates the agronomic superiority of maize hybrids over open-pollinated varieties (OPVs) in intensive monoculture. However, comparisons of the performance of hybrids and OPVs in agroforestry systems are scarce. In this study, the performance of four maize hybrids and four OPVs is compared in sole crop and under mature trees. Experiments were conducted on-farm during four seasons in Bugesera, Rwanda and two seasons in Meki, Ethiopia. Two tree species were selected in Bugesera (Grevillea robusta and Senna spectabilis) and one in Meki (Acacia tortilis), and three farms were selected for each tree species, each including two plots with almost identical trees in their centre and two plots without tree. In Bugusera, grain yield was higher for hybrids (2 Mg ha-1) than for OPVs (1.5 Mg ha-1), and the presence of trees reduced the harvest index more in OPVs than in hybrids. In this region, the estimated reduction in grain yield due to the presence of trees was 0.9 and 1.1 Mg ha-1 in hybrids and OPVs, respectively, while estimated reduction in biomass was 1.5 and 1.7 Mg ha-1, respectively. In Meki, the grain yield of OPVs (2.08 Mg ha-1) and hybrids (2.04 Mg ha-1) did not differ and the presence of trees reduced their grain yields in the same manner. Our results showed that hybrids yielded more than OPVs under G. robusta and S. spectabilis in Bugesera but performed equally well under A. tortilis in Meki. We conclude that agroforestry farmers could benefit from growing hybrids in the equatorial savannahs of Rwanda, but that the choice between hybrid and OPV in equatorial savannahs of Ethiopia can simply be based on other factors such as seed costs and availability.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)649-661
JournalExperimental Agriculture
Volume55
Issue number4
Early online date31 Aug 2018
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2019

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agroforestry
corn
grain yield
Grevillea robusta
Acacia tortilis
Rwanda
Ethiopia
savannas
Senna (Fabaceae)
farms
harvest index
farmers
biomass
crops

Cite this

@article{d1b632c1c8094c50a561e15994941a2b,
title = "Do open-pollinated maize varieties perform better than hybrids in agroforestry systems?",
abstract = "A large body of evidence demonstrates the agronomic superiority of maize hybrids over open-pollinated varieties (OPVs) in intensive monoculture. However, comparisons of the performance of hybrids and OPVs in agroforestry systems are scarce. In this study, the performance of four maize hybrids and four OPVs is compared in sole crop and under mature trees. Experiments were conducted on-farm during four seasons in Bugesera, Rwanda and two seasons in Meki, Ethiopia. Two tree species were selected in Bugesera (Grevillea robusta and Senna spectabilis) and one in Meki (Acacia tortilis), and three farms were selected for each tree species, each including two plots with almost identical trees in their centre and two plots without tree. In Bugusera, grain yield was higher for hybrids (2 Mg ha-1) than for OPVs (1.5 Mg ha-1), and the presence of trees reduced the harvest index more in OPVs than in hybrids. In this region, the estimated reduction in grain yield due to the presence of trees was 0.9 and 1.1 Mg ha-1 in hybrids and OPVs, respectively, while estimated reduction in biomass was 1.5 and 1.7 Mg ha-1, respectively. In Meki, the grain yield of OPVs (2.08 Mg ha-1) and hybrids (2.04 Mg ha-1) did not differ and the presence of trees reduced their grain yields in the same manner. Our results showed that hybrids yielded more than OPVs under G. robusta and S. spectabilis in Bugesera but performed equally well under A. tortilis in Meki. We conclude that agroforestry farmers could benefit from growing hybrids in the equatorial savannahs of Rwanda, but that the choice between hybrid and OPV in equatorial savannahs of Ethiopia can simply be based on other factors such as seed costs and availability.",
author = "Alain Ndoli and Fr{\'e}d{\'e}ric Baudron and Sida, {Tesfaye Shiferaw} and Schut, {Antonius G.T.} and {van Heerwaarden}, J. and Giller, {Ken E.}",
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month = "8",
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language = "English",
volume = "55",
pages = "649--661",
journal = "Experimental Agriculture",
issn = "0014-4797",
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Do open-pollinated maize varieties perform better than hybrids in agroforestry systems? / Ndoli, Alain; Baudron, Frédéric; Sida, Tesfaye Shiferaw; Schut, Antonius G.T.; van Heerwaarden, J.; Giller, Ken E.

In: Experimental Agriculture, Vol. 55, No. 4, 08.2019, p. 649-661.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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T1 - Do open-pollinated maize varieties perform better than hybrids in agroforestry systems?

AU - Ndoli, Alain

AU - Baudron, Frédéric

AU - Sida, Tesfaye Shiferaw

AU - Schut, Antonius G.T.

AU - van Heerwaarden, J.

AU - Giller, Ken E.

PY - 2019/8

Y1 - 2019/8

N2 - A large body of evidence demonstrates the agronomic superiority of maize hybrids over open-pollinated varieties (OPVs) in intensive monoculture. However, comparisons of the performance of hybrids and OPVs in agroforestry systems are scarce. In this study, the performance of four maize hybrids and four OPVs is compared in sole crop and under mature trees. Experiments were conducted on-farm during four seasons in Bugesera, Rwanda and two seasons in Meki, Ethiopia. Two tree species were selected in Bugesera (Grevillea robusta and Senna spectabilis) and one in Meki (Acacia tortilis), and three farms were selected for each tree species, each including two plots with almost identical trees in their centre and two plots without tree. In Bugusera, grain yield was higher for hybrids (2 Mg ha-1) than for OPVs (1.5 Mg ha-1), and the presence of trees reduced the harvest index more in OPVs than in hybrids. In this region, the estimated reduction in grain yield due to the presence of trees was 0.9 and 1.1 Mg ha-1 in hybrids and OPVs, respectively, while estimated reduction in biomass was 1.5 and 1.7 Mg ha-1, respectively. In Meki, the grain yield of OPVs (2.08 Mg ha-1) and hybrids (2.04 Mg ha-1) did not differ and the presence of trees reduced their grain yields in the same manner. Our results showed that hybrids yielded more than OPVs under G. robusta and S. spectabilis in Bugesera but performed equally well under A. tortilis in Meki. We conclude that agroforestry farmers could benefit from growing hybrids in the equatorial savannahs of Rwanda, but that the choice between hybrid and OPV in equatorial savannahs of Ethiopia can simply be based on other factors such as seed costs and availability.

AB - A large body of evidence demonstrates the agronomic superiority of maize hybrids over open-pollinated varieties (OPVs) in intensive monoculture. However, comparisons of the performance of hybrids and OPVs in agroforestry systems are scarce. In this study, the performance of four maize hybrids and four OPVs is compared in sole crop and under mature trees. Experiments were conducted on-farm during four seasons in Bugesera, Rwanda and two seasons in Meki, Ethiopia. Two tree species were selected in Bugesera (Grevillea robusta and Senna spectabilis) and one in Meki (Acacia tortilis), and three farms were selected for each tree species, each including two plots with almost identical trees in their centre and two plots without tree. In Bugusera, grain yield was higher for hybrids (2 Mg ha-1) than for OPVs (1.5 Mg ha-1), and the presence of trees reduced the harvest index more in OPVs than in hybrids. In this region, the estimated reduction in grain yield due to the presence of trees was 0.9 and 1.1 Mg ha-1 in hybrids and OPVs, respectively, while estimated reduction in biomass was 1.5 and 1.7 Mg ha-1, respectively. In Meki, the grain yield of OPVs (2.08 Mg ha-1) and hybrids (2.04 Mg ha-1) did not differ and the presence of trees reduced their grain yields in the same manner. Our results showed that hybrids yielded more than OPVs under G. robusta and S. spectabilis in Bugesera but performed equally well under A. tortilis in Meki. We conclude that agroforestry farmers could benefit from growing hybrids in the equatorial savannahs of Rwanda, but that the choice between hybrid and OPV in equatorial savannahs of Ethiopia can simply be based on other factors such as seed costs and availability.

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DO - 10.1017/S0014479718000297

M3 - Article

VL - 55

SP - 649

EP - 661

JO - Experimental Agriculture

JF - Experimental Agriculture

SN - 0014-4797

IS - 4

ER -