Gallaher and Wann Present Research at SAAS Convention

Dylan Wann with his research poster at SAASThe Southern Association of Agricultural Scientists (SAAS) is an umbrella organization that facilitates a joint meeting of the southern branches of the various professional societies dedicated to agricultural science. The 105th annual SAAS meeting was held this year in Dallas, Texas. Societies present included Animal Science, Agricultural Economics, Agronomy, Horticulture, Agricultural Education, Rural Sociology, and Agricultural Communication. Dr. Kent Gallaher coauthored a poster presentation for the Southern Branch of the American Society of Agronomy with Mr. Dylan Wann, environmental science major from Torrington, Wyoming. The poster was entitled Sub-tropical Open Pollinated Corn (Zea mays) Forage and Grain Yields in Southern Honduras (see abstract below). Dylan competed in the graduate student competition as the only undergraduate student in the section. He went head to head with MS and PhD students from most of the major land grant universities in the South, including such schools as Auburn University, the University of Georgia, and Oklahoma State University to name a few. He represented ACU with distinction and although he did not win the student competition, by the end of the meeting he had been offered a lucrative graduate research assistantship in systems agriculture at the University of Georgia. The A&E department congratulates Dylan for a successful debut at his first professional meeting and wishes him all the best as he contemplates a future in systems agriculture and sustainable development. Next year the meeting moves to Atlanta, Georgia where we anticipate Miss Kendra Gregory, environmental science major from Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, will present tropical legume research.

Sub- Tropical Open Pollinated Corn (Zea mays) Forage and Grain Yields in Southern Honduras
K. Gallaher (1), D.Q. Wann (1), and R.N. Gallaher (2)

1. Department of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, Abilene Christian University, Abilene, Texas, 2. Agronomy Department, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida

Abstract

Agricultural research in Latin America focuses on mechanized production of high yielding corn (Zea mays L.) hybrid varieties that are often beyond the reach of subsistence farmers. A study was conducted in 2007 at Refugio Mision Lazaro, Jayacayan Honduras, to evaluate the yield of twenty five potential varieties of subtropical open pollinated and seven hybrids of field corn. Varieties differed with respect to seed color (purple, white, yellow), seed type (dent, flint), ear size and position, shuck characteristics, and protein content. The study utilized a CRD with four replications. Management was with methods traditional to local subsistence farmers. Population was 33,400 plants ha-1. Forage yield (standardized at 30%DM), grain yield (standardized at 15.5% moisture), and lodging data were collected at harvest. Variety test results were 45.2 Mg ha-1 to 84.6 Mg ha-1 (P < 0.005), 3,463 kg ha-1 to 8,023 kg ha-1 (P < 0.005), and 2.5% to 30.7% (P < 0.005) for forage yield, grain yield and lodging respectively. High yield open pollinated varieties in this study were on par with yields from the five experimental and two hybrids often grown in southern Honduras. Improved open pollinated varieties represent a good alternative to expensive hybrid seed for subsistence farmers in Latin America.

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