The growth and yield of uniculm and tillered barley over a range of sowing rates
Australian Journal of Agricultural Research
41(3) 449 - 461
The growth and yield of two lines of uniculm barley, WID-103 and WID-105, were compared over a range of sowing rates (50-400 kg/ha) with the commercial varieties Galleon and Schooner. The experiments were conducted at Strathalbyn, S.A., in 1986, 1987 and 1988 and at the Waite Agricultural Research Institute in 1987. A third tillered variety, Clipper, was included in the comparison in 1988. Over the three years plant populations measured early in the season ranged from 39/m2 to 709/m2, and grain yields from 97 to 41 1 g/m2. Dry matter production at ear emergence increased with greater plant density, and both the tillered varieties and the uniculm lines showed similar responses to higher sowing rates. At maturity, dry matter production of the tillered barleys was greater than or equal to that of the uniculms and the harvest indices (HIs) of the two types were similar. Consequently, grain yields of the tillered types were greater than or equal to the yields of the uniculms. Over the four experiments the tillered varieties had a 6% higher yield. The number of ears/m2 was the yield component most affected by plant density in both the tillered and uniculm barleys. The uniculm lines had more spikelets/ear, but tended to set fewer grains/spikelet and produce smaller kernels. The experiments failed to demonstrate any advantage of the uniculm habit to the grain yield of barley. These results differ from previous experiments that showed that a uniculm line, WID-101, had a higher yield than the tillered variety Clipper. It is suggested that the uniculm habit per se was not the cause of this higher yield, but its higher HI resulted in it outyielding Clipper. Current varieties, however, have HIs similar to the uniculm lines and yield equally to or more than the uniculm barleys examined. To further improve the grain yield of uniculm barley, greater dry matter production is necessary as the HIs of these lines are already high.
Full text doi:10.1071/AR9900449
© CSIRO 1990