Effect of sowing date and seed rate on crop development and grain production of winter wheat.


  • A. Darwinkel
  • B.A. ten Hag
  • J. Kuizenga




In a field trial in 1973-5, winter wheat cv. Lely was sown on 3 dates at 3- to 4-wk intervals from end-Sept. at low (80-90 kg seed/ha) or high (160-180 kg seed/ha) sowing rates. Delaying the sowing date decreased grain yield. This decrease was caused by a smaller number of grains/ear and a lower grain wt. Sowing rate had a positive influence on the number of ears, but a negative effect on the number of grains/ear and the grain wt. With early sowing, sowing rate was found to have no effect on grain yield, due to mutual compensation of changes in yield components. With late sowing, a higher sowing rate increased the number of ears so much that a higher grain yield was achieved. The grain yield/ear depended on the age of the tiller. Tillers that emerged earlier produced more and heavier ears. The number of grains/ear and the grain wt. could be related to the rate of development of the ear-bearing shoot. The pattern of tillering was affected by the sowing date. With early sowing, most tillers emerged in autumn and winter, whereas the late-sown wheat tillered in spring. Also, the early-sown crop consisted largely of ears from early tillers, whereas the late-sown one had many ears from late-formed tillers. (Abstract retrieved from CAB Abstracts by CABI’s permission)