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6 February 2017 Frost seeding increases spring cereal yield
M.S. Thilakarathna, K. Janovicek, P. Johnson, D. Falk, A. Navabi, B. Deen
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Short growing season and mid-summer heat and drought are limiting factors for spring cereal production in Canada, suggesting that higher and more stable yields may be possible if the seeding date occurred earlier in the spring. Field trials were conducted in southern Ontario in 2003 and 2004 to compare development and yield potential of frost (early April) and conventional (late April–early May) seeded hard red spring wheat (Triticum aestivum L.), spring barley (Hordeum vulgare L.), and oat (Avena sativa L.) established using commercially available no-till planting equipment. Frost seeding had lower plant populations than conventional seeding, with pre-tillering plant population reductions for frost seeding averaging 44 plants m-2 (12%) for wheat and 27 plants m-2 (10%) for oats. In spite of lower plant population, frost seeding yields were higher than conventional seeding, with yield increases averaging 0.66 Mg ha-1 (24%) for wheat, 0.72 Mg ha-1 (20%) for oats, and 0.36 Mg ha-1 (11%, 2004 only) for barley. Frost seeded cereals had earlier occurrence of key phenological stages with average heading dates for frost seeded wheat and barley occurring 5 d earlier. Frost seeded cereals also had a longer vegetative period, which, along with earlier heading dates, contributed to increased yields for frost seeded cereals.

Copyright remains with the author(s) or their institution(s). This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author(s) and source are credited.
M.S. Thilakarathna, K. Janovicek, P. Johnson, D. Falk, A. Navabi, and B. Deen "Frost seeding increases spring cereal yield," Canadian Journal of Plant Science 97(3), 486-493, (6 February 2017).
Received: 6 July 2016; Accepted: 1 November 2016; Published: 6 February 2017

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