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Agronomy Journal Abstract -

Dry Matter Accumulation, Mineral Concentrations, and Nutrient Distribution in Winter Wheat1


This article in AJ

  1. Vol. 72 No. 2, p. 281-288
    Received: Nov 30, 1978

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  1. D. L. Karlen and
  2. D. A. Whitney2



Few studies measuring dry matter accumulation and nutrient distribution in hard red winter wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) over the life cycle of the plant have been reported. Therefore, we established an experiment to study the growth and development pattern of ‘Centurk’ wheat in eastern Kansas and to measure changes in the N, P, K, Ca, Mg, Cu, Mn, and Zn concentrations in various plant parts collected throughout the growing season. Total dry matter accumulation was measured by collecting all above ground plant material. Plant samples were fractionated into living leaves, senescing leaves, stems, heads, head parts, grain, and crowns which were dried, ground, wet-digested, and analyzed. Regression analyses were computed to identify significant trends. Total dry matter accumulation averaged 0.8 metric tons/ha in the fall, and reached a maximum of 13.0 metric tons/ha at physiological maturity. Nitrogen, P, K, Ca, and Cu concentrations in whole plant samples collected during the fall decreased gradually, while Mg and Zn concentrations remained relatively constant. The S and Mn concentrations were extremely variable and showed no significant statistical trends. Nitrogen, P, K, Cat Cu, Mn, and Zn concentrations decreased in whole plants as they approached physiological maturity. Magnesium concentrations were relatively constant at approximately 0.18% during the spring. Analysis of individual plant fractions showed nutrient changes similar to those found in the whole plant samples. Grain yields from these experiments were similar to those reported for ‘Centurk’ wheat in performance trials. We feel that this information is useful in identifying the pattern of dry matter accumulation and in illustrating changes in nutrient concentrations during the life cycle of hard red winter wheat.

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