Effects of seeding date on grain and biomass yield of intermediate wheatgrass

Jacob Michael Jungers, Sydney Schiffner, Craig Sheaffer, Nancy Jo Ehlke, Lee DeHaan, Jessica Torrion, Reagan L. Noland, Jose G. Franco

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Intermediate wheatgrass (Thinopyrum intermedium) (IWG) is a perennial grass being domesticated for grain production with potential to provide economic return and ecosystem services across a broad geographic range in North America, yet optimum seeding dates for grain and biomass yield are unknown. Our objective was to determine the effect of late-summer, fall, and spring seeding dates on grain and biomass yield of a grain-type IWG population. Trials were conducted at St. Paul and Roseau, MN, Kalispell, MT, and Salina, KS. Seeding dates ranged from August to June of the following year. Grain and biomass yields were highest when seeded at the earliest late-summer date for all environments except for Kansas, where a September 29 seeding date produced the greatest grain and biomass yields. Little to no grain was produced from spring seedings in the first production year, substantiating that photoperiod and vernalization requirements are needed for seed head induction. Grain and biomass yields were positively correlated to cumulative growing degree days (GDD) from seeding date to winter dormancy. A quadratic response was observed at Salina, KS, where seed yields maximized when GDD accumulation reached 912. Accumulation of vernalization units throughout fall, winter, and spring after seeding was also positively correlated with grain yield. The minimum vernalization units for grain production varied from 50 to 87 across sites. Results highlight important associations between thermal units and IWG grain yield when seeded in late summer; however, other variables affecting IWG seed head induction (e.g., photoperiod, snow cover) require further study.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2342-2351
Number of pages10
JournalAgronomy Journal
Volume114
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was partially funded by the Perennial Agriculture Project, a joint project of The Malone Family Land Preservation Foundation and The Land Institute.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 The Authors. Agronomy Journal published by Wiley Periodicals LLC on behalf of American Society of Agronomy.

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