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HYB: Rolling the Dice

From: Sharon McAllister <73372.1745@compuserve.com>

Jan Clark wrote:

>  I beleive that successful smaller hybridisers succeed in the same way 
>  that animal breeders do. Not so much by growing thousands of crosses and

>  discarding those that are no good, but rather by having a very 
>  discerning eye, both when selecting the parents, and choosing those 
>  seedlings to keep, backed up with knowledge gleaned by years of 
>  experience (or through good mentoring). 

Also, finding the appropriate niche.  It's important to come up with a
program that makes effective use of available resources, will produce
cultivars with marketplace appeal, and for which there is relatively little

>  I think time spent studying plants, flowers and pedigrees can be put to 
>  much better use than a knowledge of statistics. 
>  And for those who love maths, there are much more interesting 
>  mathematical recreations than statistics.

It is not the subject of statistics -- which can be rather dry if
considered only theoretically -- but the USE of statistics in studying the
plants, flowers and pedigress that can be both fascinating and fruitful.  
Of course you can succeed without statistics, especially if you choose to
work with lines that don't need that level of analysis.  
My own program has been an extremely complex one.  In retrospect, I do
think that my use of statistical analysis in evaluating stock was the key
that enabled me to accomplish most of the goals of my 40-year program in 20
years.  The remaining, elusive ones were dependent on unobtainable plant
material -- so were unattainable with or without resorting to statistics.

Sharon McAllister

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