An R&D Test Cross
Codename: Natasha v1.1
Kush x (Sativa Hashplant x Kush)
First let me start by explaining my philosophy on breeding specifically in regards to what the market currently refers to as "testers" and "test crosses"... I will be using the term breeder here rather loosely.
The current way it seems to work is the breeder grows out some X odd number of parental seed stock, then typically makes a male selection based off the smell of the stem rub, the leaf or plant or branch structure, or vigor, or floral size etc etc. the list goes on and on with these trait that these breeders select their males based on, and they don't have anything to do with the quality of flowers the daughters of that male are going to produce.
I have heard many breeders in their own words talk, brag even, about how they selected their male plants while 1 foot in veg... they kill the rest of the males and use that one to make some seeds, then pass out seeds from a bunch of different crosses using that one male. SO, Instead of "testing" the genetic potential of that male against other males of that line, what they are doing is a mixture of quality control and promotion... both of which are great and help the breeder/test grower/seed buyer but it isn't testing...
IMO there is a difference between...
Growing a "test cross", the R&D work that is necessary to properly select a male specimen that is superior to his siblings based on observing the statistics when you compare the progeny of male #1 vs #2 vs #3 vs#4... vs#60! so you can see how much work and how much time it would take to make proper selections based off "test crosses".
"Test growing" a cross, where the individual male has already been selected (usually by faulty means) by the breeder and the cross just needs to be grown by third parties in differing environments for both quality control (so if that cross sucks they can cull it, even though if proper R&D were done... bunk crosses would never make it that far towards production) and to promote to potential seed buyers and instill confidence in their purchase that they will get similar results as those growers who "tested the cross" (not the R&D test cross).
this will be me, growing a "test cross"
how can the R&D and testing be done differently and more equitably for all involved?
As someone who buys seeds, and a fair amount at that one thing that I have always disliked was the lack of detail or any evidence of the breeding process, as a seed buyer we are left with having to trust that they don't just hack shit in their underwear drawer. While we usually only get pics of the mother plants, often seeded... you hardly ever get to see phenotypes of the actual cross you are purchasing as grown and shared by the breeder and if you do its often one. So there is still no way to tell if that is a super special 1/200 pheno or is it the average one you find every five seeds. That is unit you wait for all the 3rd party reports to come in, which 2/3 never do and if you waited and the variety was in demand and or limited you're SOL.
The other thing is lying about genetics or having secret/stolen genetics, and since there is no reasonable expectation for any breeder to actually show you the process of breeding, lying becomes easy. And with that comes what we all know has happened, where breeders get fake cuts/bagseed or just lie and say it is something that it's not. So that leads to secret genetics, which without transparency creates even more space for lying then it just becomes standard business practice for many, and the cycle continues and gets worse... I think that needs to change...
but I understand the need for breeders with the knowledge and passion who are really putting in the work and all the R&D to keep things under wraps so people can't byte and try to hack a similar cross together and put it out to market with your variety name without putting in any of the work.... and giving your variety a bad name in the process.
I think I have improvised a way to document my breeding and R&D that allows everyone to follow the whole process and track one line to the next, back to the original P1 donors and all the way to the final cross... allowing me to keep things under wraps until the cross is finalized while you can still keep track of the lineages through the various successive code names and then all the info will be compiled and made clear for any who didn't understand the order at the end of the project....
Making and growing test crosses takes a lot of time and cost a lot of money cause there is no return and the majority of them only are used for comparative statistical analysis in determining which male to use and why.
I think that is good enough for the basics I hope to start a thread to delve deeper into my Ideas on the subject but that will be at later.
(to all the real pro breeders you know who you are, and know none of this pertains to you.)
So Natasha, is an experimental "test cross" and a part of my R&D work to test both the potential of a specific male from my 2012 Angel Breath/2013 Good Vibes line and also test the result of crossing that line back to a female of the Kush family on the paternal side of the cross.... if that made sense, so its Kush x (Sativa Hashplant x Kush).
I made the cross a while back and I just started 10 seeds to see what kind of females pop out of a small population, how similar they are and what kind of traits do they posses? the goal would be to determine; whether this male is a quality male, how the two lines mix together, whether Its worth making F2's of this specific cross or if I should go back to both lines and select different individuals... which will likely be done over time any way as varieties get grown and different generations get made. If I find nothing but fire in here, then I will pop the remaining 80 plus seeds and do a half sibling pollination using only the best females, separate those lines and do some type of pedigree method... if its bunk then the Natasha Line gets culled. that simple no one needs to waste their time and money on beans and the grow space/time/effort to find out the breeder's cross happened to have problems and it turned out bunk.
this is not going to be any kind of hype show or anything like that, don't expect a bunch of updates.... but I will keep it relevant and up to date but I don't need it to be redundant and up date twice a week to show the changes in the first week of flower
when there is cool shit happening you'll see it.
there is an album in my profile of the veg shots and leaf detail of all 7 'Tasha's if you can't wait for me to take a break for a while and post them up when I get back.
otherwise sub or what ever if you want to follow along...
if you have any questions or comments, as long as they are related to either Natasha, proper research and development or parental testing's role in breeding, feel free to post 'em up.