Corn is one of the world’s most important crops. Each year corn breeders create new products known as experimental hybrids by finding the best combination of genes that result in high yielding hybrids. These experimental hybrids are planted in a diverse set of locations where their performance is measured over several years. The best hybrids are advanced each year to be tested again.
However, there is a limit to the number of testing locations, causing uncertainty in choosing the best hybrids. If corn breeders could accurately predict the performance of each individual hybrid in untested environments, they could make better decisions on which hybrids to move forward and provide to growers, increasing productivity to meet the world’s growing food demands.