Analysis of series of variety trials with perennial crops



Field trials with perennial crops give rise to repeated measurements taken on the same plot on several occasions. It is important to account for serial correlation among repeated measurements in such trials. This study illustrates the use of mixed models for this purpose. We consider the analysis of trials conducted at several locations and the combination of trials with different starting years. A key issue in the analysis is the distinction between effects of calendar years, which are associated with external environmental variation, and harvest years, which represent internal yield formation processes of the perennial crop. Two methods of two-stage analysis are compared with single-stage analysis. It is shown that results of two-stage analysis are very similar to those of single-stage analysis, if serial correlation is properly taken into account. Program code for the MIXED procedure of the SAS system is given in an Appendix S1 for all considered cases.