Title: Response of dual-purpose winter wheat yield and its components to sowing date and cutting timing in a semiarid region of China
Authors: Jingning Yang, Xingfa Lai, Yuying Shen*
Journal: Crop Science (农林科学3区)
Impact factor: IF2020=2.319
Abstract: Dual-purpose winter wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) has been advocated on the Loess Plateau of China to fill feed gap and integrate crop-livestock systems; however, the effects of sowing date on the recovery after cutting and interactions between various management practices are largely unclear. Field experiment was conducted in 2015-2017 in semiarid northwestern China to investigate the effects of sowing date and cutting timing on forage yield, grain yield and its components of dual-purpose winter wheat cultivars. The experiment combined four cutting treatments, i.e. winter cutting, spring cutting, winter-spring cutting, and control, two sowing dates (22 September, 2 October), and two cultivars (early- to mid-maturing Zhongmai and late-maturing Longyu4). Results showed delayed sowing decreased forage yield by 33.4%, but still had the potential to produce an average of 1.6 t ha-1 of forage, with average protein content of 290 g kg-1. Response of winter wheat grain yield to cutting ranged from -38.9% to 1%, with a delay of 1–7 days in maturity. Delayed sowing induced insignificant yield penalties. More forage and higher kernel protein content were produced if crops were cut in winter-spring, but this came with large reductions (30.1% in Longyu4 and 38.9% in Zhongmai) in grain yield, mainly due to reductions in kernels per spike and kernel weight. This study suggests that Longyu4 and Zhongmai are suitable varieties for dual-purpose winter wheat in the Loess Plateau. For higher forage and grain yield, Longyu4 is suitable for sowing
in middle or late September, while Zhongmai is suitable for delaying sowing. Winter cutting or spring cutting is acceptable to maintain the forage and grain yield, while winter-spring cutting is disadvantageous to grain yield in our study area.