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Use of spike moisture content as an alternative to kernel moisture content and days to ripe in the measurement of relative maturity in spring wheat

Use of spike moisture content as an alternative to kernel moisture content and days to ripe in the measurement of relative maturity in spring wheat

Canadian Journal of Plant Science 70(1): 99-106

This study was undertaken to determine if the spike moisture content of ripening spring wheat (Triticum aestivum L. em. Thell.) could provide an accurate measure of kernel moisture content and whether spike moisture content could also substitute for days to ripe in evaluating the relative maturity of spring wheat cultivars. Starting with a large, unreplicated observation nursery, 65 plots were selected to represent a wide range in relative maturity and all parts of the nursery. Spike moisture content and kernel moisture content were determined for each plot as the earliest plots approached a kernel moisture content of about 20% while the latest were at about 50%. Joint analysis of these two variables (regression analysis and other procedures) showed that across this wide range of relative maturity, moisture contents of entire spikes gave virtually the same result as did a measurement of the moisture content of the kernels. This was true for wheats both with and without awns. In replicated cultivar trials, spike moisture content as the earliest cultivars approached maturity had similar normalized errors and was as closely correlated with yield as was days to ripe. Spike moisture content therefore appears suitable for use in the evaluation of relative maturity of different wheat cultivars.

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Accession: 001997370

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DOI: 10.4141/cjps90-012

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