Responses of wheat grain yield and quality to seed rate

Michael Gooding, Anan Pinyosinwat, Richard Ellis

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Four field experiments were conducted to investigate the effects of seed rate on yield and quality of wheat. Despite some small and inconsistent effects of seed rate on radiation use efficiency and harvest index, the responses of PAR interception, above ground biomass and grain yield generally followed similar asymptotic increases as seed rate increased. In one experiment, when nitrogen fertilizer was withheld, biomass and grain yields did not respond to increases in seed rate despite increases in PAR interception. In one experiment, grain yield followed a parabolic response to seed rate with apparent reductions in yield at very high seed rates. Plants compensated for low population densities by increased production and survival of tillers and, to a lesser extent, increased grain numbers per ear. Net tiller production continued until the main stems flowered or later. Effects of seed rate on grain specific weight and thousand grain weight were small and inconsistent. Hagberg falling number increased linearly with seed rate in three experiments, associated with quicker maturation of the crop. Grain protein concentration declined with increase in sowing date according to linear divided by linear or linear plus exponential models depending on whether the grain yield response was asymptotic or parabolic. Discolouration of the grain with blackpoint increased with seed rate in the most susceptible cultivar, namely Hereward. The economic consequences of these effects on yield and quality are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)317-331
JournalJournal of Agricultural Science
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - May 2002


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