Influence of Planting Date, Seeding Rate, and Phosphorus Rate on Wheat Yield
To improve management of winter wheat (Triticum aestivum L.), more information is needed on how grain yield is influenced by planting date, seeding rate, and applied P. A 3-yr study was conducted to measure the effects of these variables on grain yield and yield components of wheat grown in low-P soils. All soils were Crete silty clay loams (fine Montmorillonitic mesic Pachic Argiustoll) and had Bray & Kurtz no. 1 soil tests of less than 10 mg kg−1. A randomized complete block designed experiment with a split plot treatment arrangement using three planting dates (each in 1985, 1986, and 1988) as whole plots, and factorial combinations of three seeding rates and three P rates as split plots. Grain yield, spikes meter−2, kernels spike−1, and kernel weight data were collected. Relative grain yield was greatest when 400 growing degree days (GDD, 4.4 °C base temperature) accumulated between the planting date and 31 December. Increasing the seeding rate from 34 to 101 kg ha−1 resulted in yield increases of 0.39, 0.48, and 0.21 Mg ha−1 in 1986, 1987, and 1988, respectively. Increasing the P rate from 0 to 34 kg P ha−1 resulted in 0.67, 0.53, and 0.79 Mg ha−1 yield increase in 1986, 1987, and 1988, respectively. Planting date by P rate and seeding rate by P rate interactions in 1988 indicated that P reduced the negative influence of late planting and low seeding rate on grain yield. Path coefficient analysis indicated that under conditions resulting in low tiller numbers, kernel weight contributed most in yield determination, while under high tillering conditions the number of spikes meter−2 was the most important yield component. This study showed that wheat grain yields were optimized with planting dates that allowed 400 GDD accumulation before 31 December with a 101 kg ha−1 seeding rate when available soil P is sufficient.
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