Grain Yield Performance and Stability of Cultivar Blends vs. Component Cultivars of Hard Winter Wheat in Nebraska
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In diverse growing environments, cultivar blends of hard winter wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) are considered as an option over pure cultivars for maintaining grain yield and reducing risk to producers. The objectives of this research were to evaluate the grain yield between blends and their component cultivars over several locations in Nebraska and to compare blend grain yield stability. Two separate experiments of six threecultivar blends and their component cultivars tested in a total of 30 environments and three two-cultivar blends and their component cultivars tested in a total of 20 environments were grown in replicated randomized block designs. All component cultivars and cultivar blends (referred to as lines, hereafter) were evaluated for mean grain yield performance and stability. 'Pronghorn'-'Goodstreak'-'Buckskin' was the sole cultivar blend that signifi cantly increased grain yield when compared with the average of its component cultivars. The grain yield advantage for the mean average cultivar blends varied from 2.2% lower to 1.9% higher with overall advantage of 0.4% yield increase for all the nine cultivar blends. Cultivar blends of 'Millennium'- 'Wesley'-'Wahoo', Millennium-'Halt'-Wahoo, and Millennium-'Alliance'-Wahoo were the most stable lines using regression estimates for stability. When compared with the average of component cultivars, cultivar blends were more stable over different environments with little or no reduction in grain yield. Crop Science Society of America.