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This article in AJ

  1. Vol. 87 No. 6, p. 1198-1206
     
    Received: Mar 11, 1994


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doi:10.2134/agronj1995.00021962008700060027x

Timing and Rate of Ethephon Application to Two-Row and Six-Row Spring Barley

  1. Gregory M. Bridger,
  2. Harold R. Klinck and
  3. Donald L. Smith 
  1. Dep. of Plant Science, Macdonald Campus of McGill Univ., 21111 Lakeshore Rd., Ste-Anne-de-Bellevue, QC H9X 3V9, Canada

Abstract

Abstract

Ethephon (2-chloroethyl phosphonic acid) reduces lodging in barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) hy shortening straw, but the optimal rate and growth stage of application, both of which may interact with cultivar and environment, are unclear, especially for two-row barley in North America. Field studies in Quebec in 1985 and 1986 evaluated the response of ‘Leger’ six-row and ‘Birka’ two-row barley to ethephon applied at varying rates, growth stages, and times of day. The two-row cultivars Rodeo and Micmac were also included in one experiment. Lodging was slight or absent in all experiments. The taller Leger was usually shortened more than Birka, largely due to greater shortening of the peduncle. Late boot applications of ethephon consistently shortened straw, hut the window of effective application began at the flag leaf stage and extended for more than 1 wk for Birka, while for Leger it was about 4 d, hut differed phenologically between years. Heading was delayed by ethephon. In Rodeo and Birka, ethephon often reduced the degree of spike emergence from the flag leaf sheath. Incomplete spike emergence may have contributed to reduced kernel and test weights, particularly with applications from the flag leaf until the late hoot stage. Ethephon increased Leger yield by up to 15% in one experiment under the favorable conditions of 1985. In 1986, a wet year, yield in one experiment was reduced hy 11% by the higher ethephon rate (480 g a.i. ha−1), due to reduced spikes per square meter. Birka yield was reduced (P = 0.06) by 6% by the higher rate (480 g a.i. ha−1) in the 1986 application date study. Harvest index of Rodeo and Birka was reduced due to reduced tiller survival following application of ethephon at 480 to 500 g a.i. ha−1. Yield component compensation usually occurred between spikes per squarr meter and kernel weight, particularly for two-row cultivars. Height was reduced more hy applications at 0400 h and 0600 h than later in the day. Birka kernel weight was reduced with morning or evening applications, while Leger kernel weight was little affected by application time of day. In the absence of lodging and under conditions of environmental stress, ethephon applied at rates over 240 g a.i. ha−1 may reduce yields, particularly of two-row barley, for which spike emergence may be severely reduced.

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