Members of the collaborative network to test and share CIMMYT experimental maize lines and varieties for Mexico’s highlands learned about the latest improved materials on 7 November in El Batán. The maize varieties and hybrids improved as part of the Sustainable Modernization of Traditional Agriculture (MasAgro) initiative are a key product. MasAgro aims to increase the productivity and sustainability of small- and mediumscale farm production in Mexico.
During a tour of field plots to view the plants and assess their performance, CIMMYT maize breeder José Luis Torres explained MasAgro’s maize improvement programs in Hidalgo, Mexico, Puebla and Tlaxcala states to researchers and seed producers, inviting them to score white and yellow maize varieties under low-nitrogen and conservation agriculture conditions. The group then compared their scores with actual data taken by Torres and his team.
Ubaldo Marcos, CIMMYT seed production specialist, shared the results from test plots using MasAgro materials. He explained the best sowing season for each of the hybrids, optimal sowing densities the background of the inbred line parents and the main qualities that affect seed production. Additionally, he explained which conditions give the best yield and highlighted spring and summer cycle production.
“Maize should not only be resistant to biotic and abiotic stresses but also feature the desired grain qualities for consumers and industry,” said Natalia Palacios, CIMMYT maize nutrition quality specialist, who attended the event. Alberto Chassaigne, CIMMYT maize seed systems specialist for Latin America, highlighted the importance of collaboration with the seed sector and affirmed MasAgro’s commitment to improving farm productivity in Mexico.