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Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems
(Article in Press): 2013

Evaluating Cultivars for Organic Farming: Maize, Soybean, and Wheat Genotype by System Interactions in Eastern Nebraska

Sam E. Wortman, Charles A. Francis, Tomie D. Galusha, Chris Hoagland, Justin Van Wart, P. Stephen Baenziger, Thomas Hoegemeyer & Maury Johnson

Department of Agronomy and Horticulture, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Lincoln, Nebraska, USA.


A common hypothesis among farmers is that there are unique crop traits necessary to achieve high yields in organic systems not currently expressed in conventionally developed cultivars. To test this hypothesis, high-yielding cultivars of three annual crops developed in conventional systems were grown in parallel organic and conventional cropping systems over multiple years. Yield results revealed no consistent genotype by system interactions. We conclude that with conventionally developed cultivars it is logical to choose the highest yielding genotypes based on non-biased yield comparison trials in conventional systems unless results are available from organic evaluations.

Keywords: Organic cultivars, maize breeding, soybean breeding, wheat breeding, genotype??system, specific adaptation

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