Start Date

1-12-2011 12:00 AM

Description

For 70 years, beginning in 1866, national corn grain yields in the U.S. were essentially flat (Fig. 1) and averaged only 26 bpa (bushels per acre) during that entire 70-year time period. The absence of noticeable yield improvement throughout all those years is remarkable given that farmers of the day were essentially also plant breeders practicing a recognized form of plant breeding (mass selection) as they saved the best ears from each year’s crop for planting the next.

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COinS
 
Dec 1st, 12:00 AM

Growin’ good corn: Rocket science or common sense?

For 70 years, beginning in 1866, national corn grain yields in the U.S. were essentially flat (Fig. 1) and averaged only 26 bpa (bushels per acre) during that entire 70-year time period. The absence of noticeable yield improvement throughout all those years is remarkable given that farmers of the day were essentially also plant breeders practicing a recognized form of plant breeding (mass selection) as they saved the best ears from each year’s crop for planting the next.