Stability analysis of farmer participatory trials for conservation agriculture using mixed models uri icon

abstract

  • Normally, the data generated from farmer participatory trials (FPT) are highly unbalanced due to variation in the number of replicates of different treatments, the use of different varieties, farmers' management of the trials, and their preferences for testing different treatments. The incomplete nature of the data makes mixed models the preferred class of models for the analysis. When assessing the relative performances of technologies, stability over a range of environments is an important attribute to consider. Most of the common models for stability may be fitted in a mixed-model framework where environments are a random factor and treatments are fixed. Data from on-farm trials conducted in the Indo-Gangetic Plain (IGP) of South Asia under the umbrella of Rice-Wheat Consortium (RWC) were analyzed for grain yield stability using different stability models. The objective was to compare improved resource management technologies with farmers' practice. The variance components of an appropriate mixed model serve as measures of stability. Stability models were compared allowing for (i) heterogeneity of error variances and (ii) heterogeneity of variances between environments for farmers-within-environment effects. Mean comparisons of the treatments were made on the basis of the best fitting stability model. Reduced-till (non-puddled) transplanted rice (RT-TPR) and reduced-till drill-seeded wheat using a power tiller - operated seeder with integrated crop and resource management RTDSW(PTOS)ICRM ranked first in terms of both adjusted mean yield and stability. (C) 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

publication date

  • 2011
  • 2011