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Crop Science Abstract -

Tillering Dynamics of Water Barley as Influenced by Cultivar and Nitrogen Fertilizer: A Field Study1


This article in CS

  1. Vol. 24 No. 1, p. 179-181
    Received: Mar 3, 1983

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  1. L. F. García del Moral,
  2. J. M. Ramos and
  3. L. Recalde2



A thorough knowledge of tiller development is essential in the analysis of grain production in most cultivated cereals, since the final number of ears produced by these plants is dependent on tillering. The object of this study was to investigate, under field conditions, the pattern of tillering, ear production, and survival of the component tillers in six barley cultivars: four six-rowed (Hordeum vulgare L.) and two two-rowed (H. distichon L.). The cultivars were grown in Granada, Spain, during 1980 and 1981 on a fine-loamy, carbonatic, thermic, Calcixerollic Xerocrept soil, and each was subjected to two levels of N fertilizer(25 and 40 kg ha-1), both at seeding and as a top-dressing. From the data collected on tiller development during this study, the existence of a critical survival height for tillers is postulated: tillers less than one-third the height of the main stem at the end of shooting would fail to produce ears. The end of shooting corresponds to stages 8 and 9 of Feekes' scale when the last leaf or the ligule of the last leaf, respectively, is just visible. Nitrogen treatments at seeding, when added at maximum dosage, increased significantly both the number of tillers at the end of shooting (maximum increase = 21%) and the final number of tillers with ears (maximum increase = 31%), while the N treatments at topdressing (midway during shooting) did not affect the number of tillers at the end of shooting or at harvest.

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