2016 Wagner Prize Finalist - Syngenta

Implementation of the Genetic Gain Performance Metric Accelerates Agricultural Productivity

Yield is the most important metric for a farmer, as crop output directly impacts profitability. We now refer to the rate of increase in the genetic potential for yield in cultivars as “genetic gain,” and it is measured in bushels per acre (bu/ac). The challenge was to develop models and methods that provide unbiased estimates of the genetic components of yield for unbalanced field trials conducted across years. An algorithm was implemented that minimizes the confounding influence of unpredictable environmental contributions to estimated yields of varieties enabling real-time unbiased estimation of performance metrics that are used in operational decision making and optimization.