Lake Malawi in the Rift Valley causes extra humidity, but midseason droughts are also very common, so farmers contend with both high heat and humidity during the growing season. This combination of high moisture and high temperatures presents a variety of other challenges as well, including leaf diseases that threaten maize, like grey leaf spot and northern leaf blight.
Developing maize hybrids
To help ensure that it was adaptable to these various challenges, DuPont Pioneer®’s field testing in Malawi for hybrid 30G97 ran for two years in 2000 and 2001, simultaneously with a mandatory two-year government trial conducted by the Malawi Ministry of Agriculture.
Planted in completely randomized research and farm plots with other hybrids chosen by government researchers, 30G97 had to compete against other seeds in about 30 locations throughout the country. The hybrid was assessed and scored for foliar health, grain quality, and yield.