Harvest index and straw yield of five classes of wheat

Jing Dai, Brent Bean, Bradford Brown, William Bruening, Jeff Edwards, Michael Flowers, Russell Karow, Chad Lee, Gaylon Morgan, Michael Ottman, Joel Ransom, Jochum Wiersma

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

86 Scopus citations


Wheat straw is a potential cellulosic feedstock for bioethanol. This study was conducted to evaluate straw yield potential and its relationship with grain yield for wheat (Triticum spp.) grown in the United States. The specific objective was to determine if differences in straw yield and harvest index (HI) exist between and within regions and/or wheat classes. Using on-going variety performance trials in eight states, a total of 255 varietal trial entriess from five classes of wheat were surveyed for above-ground biomass. Averaged over all wheat classes and regions the HI was 0.45. Soft red winter wheat in Kentucky had, on average, the highest HI and lowest straw yield among regions and wheat classes. Soft white winter wheat under irrigation in the Pacific Northwest produced the highest straw yield. Hard red winter wheat in the southern plain states of Texas and Oklahoma had, on average, the lowest HI. Differences in the amount of precipitation and cultivars were the major contributors to the variation detected within wheat classes. The amount of wheat straw available as cellulosic feedstock in a state or wheat class can be estimated using the grain yield estimates provided by the National Agricultural Statistics Service and the class specific HI.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)223-227
Number of pages5
JournalBiomass and Bioenergy
StatePublished - Feb 1 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015.


  • Biomass
  • Harvest index
  • Straw yield
  • Wheat


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