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

Citation

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

Plain language summary

Wheat was largely unresponsive to conservation (CONS) management which included reduced tillage, compost addition, and cover crops. Looking at the average responses of the 13 wheat parameters measured (12-yr averages for plant density, height, days to maturity, grain yield, grain protein concentration, grain test weight, kernel hardness, take-all severity and; 5-yr averages for wheat stem sawfly damge, and grain Ca, P, K and S concentrations), only two parameters showed significant positive effects from CONS management, i.e., grain Ca and S concentrations, which indicated that increased nutritional benefits could be derived from CONS management. Two showed significant negative effects of CONS management (plant height and take-all rating), while the remaining nine were unresponsive.

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.

Publication date

2017-08-25