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Data from: Similarities among Test Sites Based on the Performance of Advanced Breeding Lines in the Great Plains Hard Winter Wheat Region

posted on 2024-02-13, 13:25 authored by Robert A. Graybosch

USDA-ARS coordinated regional wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) breeding trials examine agronomic performance and adaptation over a wider geographic range than single breeding programs can achieve. The trials provide an evaluation of experimental breeding lines in alternate test sites that are environmentally similar or dissimilar to the program of origin. Data from USDA-ARS Hard Winter Wheat Regional Nurseries grown in 1987 to 2014 were used to identify similarities among Great Plains test sites. Mean correlations of entry grain yields across locations and years were used in principal factor analyses to cluster them into production zones. The procedures used were identical to those of a previously published analysis using test data from 1959 to 1989. Five factors explained 67% of the variance in the correlation matrix among Southern Regional Performance Nursery (SRPN) locations. The analysis divided the SRPN into four major Great Plains production zones, designated Southeast, Northwest, Southwest and Northeast. The remaining minor production zone consisted of only two central South Dakota locations, both outside the typical target area and selection site of SRPN entries. In the Northern Regional Performance Nursery (NRPN), five production zones were established, with location separation predominantly resulting from east–west differences in performance. The SRPN and NRPN wheat production zones closely follow previously described ecological zones of adaptation of native Great Plains plant species. Wheat breeding programs and growers may continue to use the production zones established via the USDA-ARS coordinated winter wheat regional nurseries to target and select germplasm for crossing and for production.

Resources in this dataset:




Data contact name

Graybosch, Robert A.

Data contact email


Crop Science

Intended use

To use Southern Regional Performance Nursery (SRPN) and Northern Regional Performance Nursery (NRPN) data to evaluate correlations among the extant locations, to determine whether any changes have been observed in the clustering of test sites within production zones, and to establish whether breeders need to adjust target areas for both production and germplasm acquisition.

Temporal Extent Start Date


Temporal Extent End Date



  • Not specified

Geographic Coverage


Geographic location - description

Great Plains region

ISO Topic Category

  • biota
  • climatologyMeteorologyAtmosphere
  • environment
  • farming
  • geoscientificInformation
  • location

National Agricultural Library Thesaurus terms

breeding lines; Great Plains region; winter wheat; Agricultural Research Service; agronomic traits; breeding programs; grain yield; variance; South Dakota; crop production; ecological zones; growers; germplasm; climatic factors; North America; plant breeding; genetics; Triticum aestivum; agroecological zones

OMB Bureau Code

  • 005:18 - Agricultural Research Service

OMB Program Code

  • 005:040 - National Research

ARS National Program Number

  • 301

Primary article PubAg Handle

Pending citation

  • No

Public Access Level

  • Public

Preferred dataset citation

Graybosch, Robert A. (2018). Data from: Similarities among Test Sites Based on the Performance of Advanced Breeding Lines in the Great Plains Hard Winter Wheat Region. Crop Science.