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Crop Science





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Variety testing by U.S. agricultural universities, often in cooperation with experiment stations, and professional crop associations is recognized as an independent, unbiased validation of the viability of commercial crop varieties. In Iowa, variety testing has also been conducted by many private agricultural companies and individual farmers. Records for crop variety evaluations within the state can be traced back to 1871, well before the creation of the Iowa Agricultural Experiment Station in 1888. The Iowa Corn Yield Test (ICYT) is undeniably the most famous of the Iowa variety yield trials; however, corn (Zea mays L.) varieties were being tested long before that program was initiated. Furthermore, Iowa researchers have been conducting variety yield tests on many other field crops. Knowledge of how Iowa variety tests have been organized and published could be helpful to researchers looking for similar, long-term evaluations from other states and around the world. Variety tests from the past also have the potential to help guide new research efforts and may provide an important untapped resource for unique varietal data. As crop scientists and agronomists look to find new sources for biofuels, bio-products, and other industrial uses for various crops, data from historical varieties could be useful. The objective for this review is to provide an historic account with sections on varietal testing in Iowa. It is presented in chronological order followed by sections devoted to specific crops. A Supplemental Information file containing a detailed annotated bibliography is also provided.


This article is published as Pellack, Lorraine J. and Douglas L. Karlen. “Iowa Crop Variety Yield Testing: A History and Annotated Bibliography.” Crop Science, 57, no. 4 (2017): 1-15. doi:10.2135/cropsci2017.01.0009. Supplemental Information file containing a detailed annotated bibliography is also provided. See link at the bottom of this page.


Works produced by employees of the U.S. Government as part of their official duties are not copyrighted within the U.S. The content of this document is not copyrighted.



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2017-Pellack-IowaCrop-Supp.pdf (326 kB)
Iowa Crop Variety Yield Testing Publications Bibliography