Twenty-five maize scientists and information management specialists gathered in Nairobi this week for a special workshop on the CIMMYT Fieldbook and MaizeFinder software. In addition to CIMMYT global maize program staff, colleagues from IITA and some national programs participated. The training workshop, designed to illustrate the use of the two programs in managing field trials and pedigrees, also aimed to find ways to improve the software itself. There was special emphasis on how to link this software with the International Crop Information System (ICIS) that CIMMYT and IRRI are jointly developing.
The workshop was led by CIMMYT-Zimbabwe breeder Bindiganavile Vivek, with help from Eduardo Hernández of the Crop Research Informatics Laboratory (CRIL). Fieldbook is an application for Microsoft Excel originally written by Marianne Bänziger and enhanced by Vivek. The MaizeFinder program was developed by CRIL staff, integrates evaluation data from different breeding programs, and allows structured queries across multiple studies. Both applications are freely available to any maize breeder in the world.