Timely rainfall helps field experiments

February 1, 2012 at 9:12 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Field trial at ICARDA’s Tel Hadya research station

After five consecutive dry years, this year’s fluctuating cold and wet weather conditions are helping researchers at ICARDA’s Tel Hadya research station to better observe the behavior of their new crop varieties. Thanks to this year’s abundant rainfall, researchers have planted 90% of the experimentation area, leaving 10% for late planting to expose the breeding trials to heat stress during flowering and grain-fill to help identify varieties that will withstand higher temperatures associated with climate change.

ICARDA’s breeding programs for improved varieties of wheat, barley, lentil, chickpea, faba bean and grasspea  have planted crossing blocks, segregating populations, preliminary and advanced yield trials. Improvements also focus on seed increases for ICARDA’s international nurseries and varieties from different countries. Thanks to the abundant moisture this season, most of the early planted materials are already germinated. Researchers have found that the recent consistent cold spells – where the temperature dipped to minus 5C – are an excellent opportunity to identify germplasm that thrives in these harsh conditions.  This is a clear sign that ICARDA will continue with innovating its crop variety improvement ‘…..come rain or shine’!

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