Predicting spring barley yield from variety-specific yield potential, disease resistance and straw length, and from environment-specific disease loads and weed pressure
Publication: Research - peer-review › Journal article – Annual report year: 2008
For low-input crop production, well-characterised varieties increase the possibilities of managing diseases and weeds. This analysis aims at developing a framework for analyzing grain yield using external varietal information about disease resistance, weed competitiveness and yield potential and quantifying the impact of susceptibility grouping and straw length scores (as a measure for weed competitiveness) for predicting spring barley grain yield under variable biotic stress levels. The study comprised 52 spring barley varieties and 17 environments, i.e., combinations of location, growing system and year. Individual varieties and their interactions with environments were analysed by factorial regression of grain yield on external variety information combined with observed environmental disease loads and weed pressure. The external information was based on the official Danish VCU testing. The most parsimonious models explained about 50% of the yield variation among varieties including genotype-environment interactions. Disease resistance characteristics of varieties, weighted with disease loads of powdery mildew, leaf rust and net blotch, respectively, had a highly significant influence on grain yield. The extend to which increased susceptibility resulted in increased yield losses in environments with high disease loads of the respective diseases was predicted. The effect of externally determined straw length scores, weighted with weed pressure, was weaker although significant for weeds with creeping growth habit. Higher grain yield was thus predicted for taller plants under weed pressure. The results are discussed in relation to the model framework, impact of the considered traits and use of information from conventional variety testing in organic cropping systems.
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