Influence of foliar diseases and their control by fungicides on grain yield and quality in wheat
Gooding, M. J. (2005) Influence of foliar diseases and their control by fungicides on grain yield and quality in wheat. In: 7th International Wheat Conference (7 IWC), Mar del Plata, ARGENTINA, pp. 567-581.
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Twenty-eight field experiments on sandy-loam soils in the UK (1982-2003) are reviewed by relating the extension of the green area duration of the flag leaf (GLADF) by fungicides to effects on yield and quality of winter wheat. Over all experiments mean grain yield = 8.85t ha(-1) at 85% DM. With regards quality, mean values were: thousand grain weight (TGW) = 44.5 g; specific weight (SWT) = 76.9 kg hl(-1); crude protein concentration (CP (N x 5.7)) = 12.5 % DM; Hagberg falling number (HFN) = 285 s; and sodium dodecyl sulphate (SDS)-sedimentation volume = 69ml. For each day (d) that fungicides increased GLADF there were associated average increases in yield (0.144 1 ha(-1) d(-1), se 0.0049, df = 333), TGW (0.56 gd(-1), se = 0.017) and SWT (0.22 kg hl(-1) d(-1), se 0.011). Some curvature was evident in all these relationships. When GLADF was delayed beyond 700 degrees Cd after anthesis, as was possible in cool wet seasons, responses were curtailed, or less reliable. Despite this apparent terminal sink limitation, fungicide effects on sink size, eg endosperm cell numbers or maximum water mass per grain, were not prerequisites for large effects on grain yield, TGW or SWT. Fungicide effects on CP were variable. Although the average response of CP was negative (-0.029%DM/d; se = 0.00338), this depended on cultivar and disease controlled. Controlling biotrophs such as rusts, (Puccinia spp.) tended to increase CP, whereas controlling a more necrotrophic pathogen (Septoria tritici) usually reducedCP. Irrespective of pathogen controlled, delaying senescence of the flag leaf was associated with increased nitrogen yields in the grain (averaging 2.24 kg N ha-1 d(-1), se = 0.0848) due to both increased N uptake into the above ground crop, and also more efficient remobilisation of N from leaf laminas. When sulphur availability appeared to be adequate, fungicide x cultivar interactions were similar on S as for CP, although N:S ratios tended to decline (i.e. improve for bread making) when S. tritici was controlled. On average, SDS-sedimentation volume declined (-0. 18 ml/d, se = 0.027) with increased GLADF, broadly commensurate with the average effect on CP. Hagberg falling number decreased as fungicide increased GLADF (-2.73 s/d, se = 0.178), indicating an increase in alpha-amylase activity.