Growth, water use and yield of barley in Mediterranean-type environments
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K. D. Shepherd, P. J. M. Cooper, A. Y. Allan, D. S. H. Drennan, Dyno (J. D. H. ) Keatinge. (27/3/2009). Growth, water use and yield of barley in Mediterranean-type environments. The Journal of Agricultural Science, 108 (2), pp. 365-378.
Relations between yield, water use and pre-anthesis growth were analysed for cropsof barley grown for three seasons at several sites in northern Syria. The relations obtained were compared with those for other cereal crops grown in similar regions of Mediterranean climates. Phosphorus fertilizer application increased the rate of crop development from emergence to floral initiation and advanced anthesis by up to 11 days. Grain and total shoot dry-matter yields were increased by fertilizer (nitrogen + phosphorus) applications at all sites in all years, in most cases without increasing total evapotranspiration. The increased dry matter at anthesis was produced without having used a larger proportion of the total evapotranspiration in the whole season. Consequently, the ratio of grain yield to total above-ground dry-matter yield (harvest index) and kernel weight were also relatively stable between sites and years, despite some very low amounts of post-anthesis water use. Grain yield appeared to be largely determined by anthesis and there were strong linear relationships between grain yield or total dry-matter yield and number of kernels. Differences in water use efficiency of crops given fertilizer between sites and years were closely related to the differences in amounts of winter growth. Some responses differed from those predicted from models of growth, water use and yield developed in other regions with similar climates. It is concluded that agronomists and breeders should increase amounts of early growth thereby increasing grain and dry-matter yields. Future research emphasis should also be on the development of dynamic simulation models of pre-anthesis growth and water use.
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