• Average efficiency factor;
  • early generation variety trials;
  • multi-location trials;
  • α-arrays;
  • upper bound

Early generation variety trials are very important in plant and tree breeding programs. Typically many entries are tested, often with very few resources available. Unreplicated trials using control plots are popular and it is common to repeat the trials at a number of locations. An alternative is to use partially replicated (p–rep) designs, where a proportion of the test entries are replicated at each location. We extend a method for the generation of p–rep designs based on α–arrays to allow for a much broader class of designs to be constructed. Updating procedures for the average efficiency factor and its upper bound are developed for application to the computer generation of efficient p–rep designs.