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A comparison of winter wheat cultivar rankings in groups of Polish locations

Derejko, A., Studnicki, M., Mądry, W., Gacek, E.
Cereal research communications 2016 v.44 no.4 pp. 628-638
climate, correlation, cultivars, environmental factors, growing season, soil, variety trials, winter wheat, Czech Republic, Germany, Poland
The grouping of locations from local-scale multi-environmental trials (METs) into megaenvironments has been criticized. Some European countries, e.g. the Czech Republic, Poland and Germany, have been characterized as possessing homogeneous environmental conditions. For aligned environmental conditions, it has been assumed that cultivar rankings will be similar and consequently cannot be used to designate mega-environments. An example of METs at the local scale is the Polish Post Registration Variety Testing System. The objective of this study was to determine groups of test sites within 16 Polish regions which are characterized by similar yield ranking of 50 winter wheat cultivars over three growing seasons (2011–2013). The compatibility of these cultivar yield rankings across regions was evaluated using Pearson correlation coefficients. Thereby, the 16 regions were divided into six groups (mega-environments) of locations. Regions within each group have similar cultivar rankings, whereas between groups, we observed different cultivar rankings, indicating crossover interactions. Besides similar cultivar yield responses the regions within megaenvironments were characterized also by similar environmental (soil and/or climate) conditions.