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Open-Pollinated vs. Hybrid Maize Cultivars

Author

Listed:
  • Frank Kutka

    () (Northern Plains Sustainable Agriculture Society Farm Breeding Club, P.O. Box 194, 100 1st Ave. SW LaMoure, ND 58458, USA)

Abstract

The history of maize breeding methods in the USA is reviewed to examine the question of types of maize cultivars in sustainable agriculture. The yield potential of OP cultivars was much higher than national average yields prior to 1930, but hybrid cultivars today often out-yield OP cultivars by 50–100% or more. However, rates of gain for yield using recurrent selection on populations appear equal to that recorded for commercial hybrid breeding. The inbred-hybrid method, while successful, was not “the only sound basis” for maize improvement, as evidenced by later experiences in the United States and worldwide. It appears that maize breeders have practiced objective science and achieved concrete goals, although personal interests and goals clearly direct the work at times. As society looks for tools for sustainability based on achieving multiple goals, a special dedication to scientific validation and broad objectivity may be required. The potential for OP cultivars today is evaluated and research questions are identified.

Suggested Citation

  • Frank Kutka, 2011. "Open-Pollinated vs. Hybrid Maize Cultivars," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 3(9), pages 1-24, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:gam:jsusta:v:3:y:2011:i:9:p:1531-1554:d:14082
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. David Cleveland, 2001. "Is plant breeding science objective truth or social construction? The case of yield stability," Agriculture and Human Values, Springer;The Agriculture, Food, & Human Values Society (AFHVS), vol. 18(3), pages 251-270, September.
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    Cited by:

    1. Fischer, Klara, 2016. "Why new crop technology is not scale-neutral—A critique of the expectations for a crop-based African Green Revolution," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 45(6), pages 1185-1194.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    breeding; composite; hybrid; inbred; maize; OP; open pollinated; synthetic;

    JEL classification:

    • Q - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics
    • Q0 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - General
    • Q2 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation
    • Q3 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Nonrenewable Resources and Conservation
    • Q5 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics
    • Q56 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environment and Development; Environment and Trade; Sustainability; Environmental Accounts and Accounting; Environmental Equity; Population Growth
    • O13 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Agriculture; Natural Resources; Environment; Other Primary Products

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