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Lookup NU author(s): Dr Amelia Magistrali,
Dr Leo Rempelos,
Professor Carlo Leifert,
Dr Paul Bilsborrow
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© 2020 Elsevier B.V.Spelt (Triticum spelta) is an ancient wheat which is attracting renewed interest with an increasing demand for wholegrains and ancient cereals in the diet. This study evaluates the yield and quality performance of four contrasting European spelt varieties (both landraces and modern cultivars) grown with different fertiliser types (cattle slurry, farm yard manure, and biogas digestate in comparison with mineral N) and rates (50 and 100 kg N ha−1) in contrasting environments, i.e. the UK and CZ in the 2014−15 and 2015−16 seasons. Grain yield was similar in both seasons but was greater in CZ than the UK (4.9 vs 3.2 t ha−1) which was also supported by a much greater harvest index (HI) of 40.4 vs 31.3 % and all yield components measured. The yield differences were largely related to differences in climate and disease levels, i.e. leaf blotch (S. tritici) and yellow rust (Puccinia striiformis), which were much greater in the UK. Clear varietal differences were evident between the two sites especially in susceptibility to yellow rust. Leaf chlorophyll data showed that the uptake efficiency of the biogas digestate was similar to that of mineral N resulting in greater grain yield when averaged across sites and seasons. Significantly lower levels of yellow rust were observed under the biogas digestate treatment in the UK relative to the other fertiliser types. Clear genotype (G) x environment (E) interactions show the benefits of selecting spelt varieties suited to particular environments. Although yields of spelt are lower than common wheat, the crop benefits from lower inputs of fertiliser and the use of biogas digestate where available can provide a clear opportunity for organic and reduced input growers. The ability of the crop to produce a high grain protein content from low levels of fertiliser input shows the clear potential of spelt production systems whereby wheat in the UK struggles to achieve13 % protein from much greater rates of N fertiliser.
Author(s): Magistrali A, Vavera R, Janovska D, Rempelos L, Cakmak I, Leifert C, Grausgruber H, Butler G, Wilkinson A, Bilsborrow P
Publication type: Article
Publication status: Published
Journal: Field Crops Research
Print publication date: 15/09/2020
Online publication date: 25/06/2020
Acceptance date: 29/05/2020
ISSN (print): 0378-4290
ISSN (electronic): 1872-6852
Publisher: Elsevier B.V.
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