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Dr. Hannibal Muhtar (center) of AGRICON International Inc. advises Dr. Samuel Gudu (right), the Deputy Vice Chancellor for Planning and Development of Moi University. They are considering how to design an irrigation system for a proposed agronomic trial site in Sega Western Kenya. Agricultural scientist Onkware Augustino (left) looks on.

As with any other endeavor, establishing an agronomic trial site requires substantial preparation. Planners must consider the homogeneity of fields with respect to soil and topographic conditions, fencing and security to protect the site from animals and intruders and how water can be accessed to provide irrigation.

Is there a weather station that will provide sufficient data to characterize the trials? Are there any pest and weed problems that could make carrying out experiments difficult? These are only a few of the considerations that must be taken into account.

Researchers with expertise in spatial analysis from CIATCIMMYTIITA and ICRISAT are working with the Generation Challenge Program (GCP) and others to evaluate new and existing cultivar trial sites. Our role is to analyze the location of the sites in the overall context of the GCP’s molecular breeding platform and other crop improvement programs.

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