The influence of the basic experimental unit size on the plot size estimation determined by the method of maximum curvature of the coefficient of variation model is unknown in sunn hemp. This study aimed to verify the influence of the basic experimental unit (BEU) size in the estimate of the optimum plot size obtained by the method of maximum curvature of the coefficient of variation model for the evaluation of fresh matter of sunn hemp (Crotalaria juncea L.). Fresh matter of sunn hemp at the flowering was evaluated in uniformity trials in two sowing dates. In each sowing date, 4,608 BEU of 0.5 × 0.5 m (0.25 m2) were evaluated and 64 BEU plans were formed with sizes from 0.25 to 64 m2. In each evaluation period for each BEU plan, the first order spatial autocorrelation coefficient, variance, standard deviation, mean, coefficient of variation of the trial and the plot size were determined with the fresh matter data. For each BEU plan, the optimum plot size was determined by the method of maximum curvature of the coefficient of variation model. The estimate of optimum plot size depends on the basic experimental unit size. Determining the plot size to assess the fresh matter in basic experimental units as small as possible is recommended in order to prevent overestimation of the plot size and to contemplate all existing variability.
Key words: Crotalaria juncea L., experimental design, basic experimental unit.
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