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Interpretation of grain quality results from wheat variety trials with reference to high temperature stress

CS Blumenthal, F Bekes, IL Batey, CW Wrigley, HJ Moss, DJ Mares and EWR Barlow

Australian Journal of Agricultural Research 42(3) 325 - 334
Published: 1991


Grain quality results for variety trials extending over 27 years (3 sites and 5 varieties) were compared with the temperature profiles during the grain filling period (56 days prior to harvest) to determine the effects on quality of high temperatures (>35¦C) during this period of growth. Heat stress episodes have been frequent at two (Narrabri, N.S.W., and Turretfield, S.A.) of the three sites studied; spring temperatures were more moderate at the third site, Wongan Hills, W.A. There were highly significant (P< 0.01) correlations of heat stress (as hours above 35¦C, during grain filling) with protein content (positive) and with grain yields (negative) at Narrabri for all varieties. In many combinations of site and variety, heat stress correlated negatively with loaf volume, and with dough strength (as Rmax, resistance to stretching with the Extensograph). Heat stress episodes in the Narrabri (N.S.W.) region in 1981 and 1982 gave further opportunity to examine these relationships. Results showed very clearly that high temperatures late in grain filling were associated with weaker dough properties (lower Rmax) in the resulting grain. These trends may form the basis of a predictive system by which to estimate crop quality and to interpret the results of variety trials.

© CSIRO 1991

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