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Wheat Head Count Association with Grain Yield

 

Wheat Head Count Association with Grain Yield

Objective

  • Determine association of wheat head count per foot of row to grain yield.
    2015 wheat trial location in southern Illinois.

    2015 wheat trial location in southern Illinois.

Study Description

  • Head counts were collected at 17 wheat trial locations in Illinois, Indiana, and Missouri during 2015 .
  • The apparatus shown below was used to ensure a consistent row length for head counts.
  • Six Pioneer® brand soft red winter wheat varieties were evaluated and grain yield measured.
    • Varieties: 25R40, 25R46, 25R50, 25R72, 25R77, 25R78
    Apparatus used to collect wheat head counts.

    Apparatus used to collect wheat head counts.

Results

  • There was no clear association between head count and yield in this study (Figure 1).
  • The highest yielding variety (Pioneer® variety 25R46) had the lowest head count per foot of row. The lowest yielding variety (Pioneer® variety 25R78) had the second highest head count in the trial (Figure 2).
  • Factors such as test weight, tillering and head size may have had an influence on yield in addition to number of heads per foot and will be evaluated in 2016.

    Regression of grain yield and head count, 11 locations.

    Figure 1. DuPont Pioneer plant population water-limited test locations in North America, 2010-2015.

    Average yield and head count of wheat varieties in descending head count order.

    Figure 2. Average yield and head count of wheat varieties in descending head count order.


Authors: Blake Kasten, Scott Eversgerd, and Kirk Reese

 

2015 data are based on average of all comparisons made in 17 locations through Dec. 1, 2015. Multi-year and multi-location is a better predictor of future performance. Do not use these or any other data from a limited number of trials as a significant factor in product selection.

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