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Soft white spring wheat is largely unresponsive to conservation management in irrigated rotations with dry bean, potato, and sugar beet

Larney, F.J., Pearson, D.C., Blackshaw, R.E., Lupwayi, N.Z., Conner, R.L. (2017). Soft white spring wheat is largely unresponsive to conservation management in irrigated rotations with dry bean, potato, and sugar beet, 98(1), 155-171. http://dx.doi.org/10.1139/cjps-2017-0150

Abstract

© Her Majesty the Queen in right of Canada 2018. Historically, soft white spring (SWS) wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) has been a crop choice in southern Alberta’s irrigation districts. A 12-yr (2000-2011) study compared conservation (CONS) and conventional (CONV) management for SWS wheat in 3-5-yr rotations with dry bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.), potato (Solanum tuberosum L.), and sugar beet (Beta vulgaris L.). Conservation management incorporated reduced tillage, compost, cover crops, and narrow-row dry bean. Wheat was largely unresponsive to CONS management, with only 2 of 13 parameters showing significant positive effects: greater grain Ca (605 vs. 576 µg g-1 on CONV) and S concentrations (1137 vs. 1105 µg g-1 on CONV). Two parameters showed significant negative responses to CONS management: shorter plant height (82.8 vs. 84.8 cm on CONV) and higher take-all [Gaeumannomyces graminis (Sacc.) Arx & Olivier var. tritici Walker] severity (1.34 vs. 1.27 rating on CONV). The remaining nine parameters were unresponsive: plant density, days to maturity, grain yield, grain protein concentration, test weight, kernel hardness, wheat stem sawfly [Cephus cinctus Norton (Hymenoptera: Cephidae)] damage, and grain P and K concentrations. With a backdrop of continued decline in irrigated SWS wheat hectarage, we feel our data is relevant to other wheat classes grown under irrigation in southern Alberta.

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