Influence of Sowing, Nitrogen Nutrition and Weather Conditions on Stand Structure and Yield of Spring Barley
The processes of stand structure and yield formation of spring barley were studied under different weather conditions and crop management. The multifactorial small-plot trials focused on the combined effect of variety, sowing density and nitrogen nutrition were carried out in two years with contrast weather conditions for yield formation (2011 and 2013). Evaluation of the above-ground biomass and the segmentation of tillers into three groups was conducted in four growth stages (BBCH 25, 31, 39 and 75). The performed analyses confirmed that for effective use of inputs and high yield, it is important to create a sufficient number of strong tillers at the beginning of vegetation. In year with low proportion of strong tillers at the end of tillering (2013), the differentiation of tillers is delayed and their productivity decreases. In this year therefore, yield formation is shifted from the number of spikes to the number of grains in a spike. The comparison of barley genotypes revealed that high yield plasticity can be obtained especially in the variety Bojos, which is able to compensate effectively the changes in spike number by increased grain number in a spike. This variety is also able to create a high proportion of strong tillers even under unfavourable conditions. This knowledge could help to improve the breeding and management strategy in spring barley for the expected weather conditions in the near future, especially higher temperatures in early spring.
Keywordsspring barley yield formation tillers formation and differentiation genotype plasticity grain quality
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