, Volume 34, Issue 1, pp 59-65

Environment, seed rate, and N rate influence on yield of winter barley

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This study was conducted to determine the effects of rainfall and temperature during the growing season, seed rate, and N rate on grain yield and yield components of winter barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) on a Typic Haploxeralf soil in Santa Olalla (Toledo), Spain in 1986/7, 1987/8, and 1988/9. Two experiments were conducted each year using the 6-rowed variety ‘Barbarrosa’ and the 2-rowed variety ‘Reinette’. Both experiments used seed rates of 80, 160, and 240 kg ha−1 as whole plot treatments, and N rates of 0, 40, 80, 120, and 160 kg ha−1 as subplots. Responses to N depended on both the quantity and distribution of rainfall during the growing season, and temperature during grain fill. In the high rainfall, moderate grain-fill temperature year, increasing the N rate from 0 to 160 kg ha−1 increased grain yields (by 2.3 t ha−1), straw yields and the harvest index while maintaining the kernel weight for both varieties. In the low rainfall, high grain-fill temperature year, N rate had little influence on grain yield, but increased the straw yield, which reduced the harvest index, and also decreased kernel weight. Seed rate had no influence on grain yields even though wide variation in N rates, rainfall and temperatures occurred in the three-year study. Results from this study indicated that strategies to reduce (or avoid) water/high temperature stress during grain fill are necessary to assure more uniform yield responses to N application across years. However, decisions about seed rate can be made independently for conditions similar to those in this study.