Visual Indicators of Physiological Maturity of Hard Red Spring Wheat1
- J. M. Hanft and
- R. D. Wych2
Field experiments were conducted in 1979 and 1980 to identify visual indicators that coincide with physiological maturity (PM) and 95% maximum kernel dry weight (95% MKW) in hard red spring wheat (Triticum aestivum L.). Dates of PM and 95% MKW were calculated from polynomial regression equations fitted to dry weight accumulation data from eight genotypes differing in several agronomic traits. In 1980, kernels were divided into three groups according to their position on the spike (bottom, middle, and top) to determine the order in which kernels achieve their maximum dry weight.
The mean number of days from anthesis to 95% MKW and PM ranged from 22.3 to 33.7 and 27.9 to 40.1, respectively, depending upon planting date and genotype. Kernels matured, in order, from the top of the spike down. The time of 95% MKW preceded PM by about 7 days. Of the 13 visual characteristics observed during the grain-filling period, first appearance of the pigment strand in the crease most closely coincided with the calculated date of PM. Complete loss of green color from the glumes also occurred close to PM. Complete loss of green color from the flag leaf most consistently coincided with the time of 95% MKW. An abrupt drop in kernel moisture content also occurred at 95% MKW. Complete loss of green color from the flag leaf could, therefore, be used as an indicator of the commencement of rapid kernel dry-down and the final stage of grain filling which ends when the pigment strand is first visible and the glumes have lost all green color. Kernel moisture percentage at PM and 95% MKW was too variable to be considered a reliable indicator of either PM or 95% MKW.Please view the pdf by using the Full Text (PDF) link under 'View' to the left.
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