Page Banner

United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: How Wheat Responds to Water

Author
item Nielsen, David

Submitted to: Meeting Proceedings
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: February 10, 2005
Publication Date: February 18, 2005
Citation: Nielsen, D.C. 2005. How wheat responds to water. Proceedings of the Wheat Technology Conference; Water and Winter Wheat. Feb. 28 thru March 3, 2005. Sidney, Alliance and Grant, NE. p. 3-4.

Interpretive Summary: Winter wheat is well adapted to the climatic conditions of the central Great Plains. But dryland yields can vary widely from year to year due to the strong influence of water (soil water, timing and amount of precipitation, and total seasonal water use) on grain production. This paper reviews previous research that shows how winter wheat responds to 1) available soil water at planting, 2) precipitation during the critical period of crop development corresponding to heading through maturity, and 3) total seasonal water use.

Technical Abstract: Winter wheat is well adapted to the climatic conditions of the central Great Plains. But dryland yields can vary widely from year to year due to the strong influence of water (soil water, timing and amount of precipitation, and total seasonal water use) on grain production. Wheat shows a strong linear response to available soil water at planting (bu/a = 5.56 + 5.34*inches) for dry, normal, and wet growing season conditions. Under extremely dry conditions the response is much lower (bu/a = 13.35 + 1.50*inches). Wheat yield is highly correlated with precipitation falling from 21 May to 1 July (heading to maturity). The water use/yield production function for winter wheat in the central Great Plains is bu/a = 4.48*(in-5.21). Using crop rotations that employ no-till production methods will increase water availability and crop yields. Wheat yields will respond well to limited irrigation that is delayed until 21 May.

Last Modified: 12/27/2014
Footer Content Back to Top of Page