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This article in AJ

  1. Vol. 72 No. 2, p. 329-336
    Received: July 19, 1979

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Relation of Soil Properties and Other Environmental Factors to Grain Yield and Quality of Winter Wheat Grown at International Sites1

  1. A. D. Karathanasis,
  2. V. A. Johnson,
  3. G. A. Peterson,
  4. D. H. Sander and
  5. R. A. Olson2



Varied performance of different genotypes of winter wheat (Triticum aestivum L. em Thell) has been recognized in different areas of the world. It was the objective of this study to evaluate the role of measurable soil properties on the performance of 30 winter wheat varieties grown in nurseries at 31 international sites during 1975 and 1976. Soil samples from the rooting profile of these sites were collected and analyzed for carrying out this correlation study.

Despite substantial variability among nursery sites in soil type, climate, and soil management, 17 to 74% of the variation in the grain yield and 20 to 94% in the grain protein content was explained by the soil variables. Lowest grain yields were observed on soils with pH lower than 6.0 or on highly calcareous soils. Residual mineral N in the soil profile at most nursery sites was more than enough to produce maximum grain yield and protein, but soil P level appeared to be the main factor limiting yields of most cultivars. Soil K had positive influence on grain yield only at sites with <100 ppm exchangeable K and was generally negative in its influence on protein, while soil SO4-S correlated positively with grain protein. The trace nutrients Zn, Cu, Mn, and Fe appeared to be important for the nutrition of certain cultivars. Winterkill was the main environmental factor depressing yields in some nurseries while seasonal rainfall had low significance or a negative effect on the yield and quality performance.

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