EFFECTS OP MOISOTE STRESS AT DIFFERENT GROWTH STAGES ON THE PERFORMANCE AND YIELD OP WHEAT (Triticum aestivum L. em T h e l l .)

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EFFECTS OP MOISOTE STRESS AT DIFFERENT GROWTH STAGES ON THE PERFORMANCE AND YIELD OP WHEAT (Triticum aestivum L. em T h e l l .)

Abstract:

In order to study the effects of moisture stress at different growth stages of wheat (Triticum aestivum L. em Thell), an experiment was conducted under field conditions during the 1980-81 dry, cool harmattan season at Irrigation Research Station, Kadawa, Nigeria. Two levels of moisture stress were imposed by omitting one and two irrigations at tillering, jointing, flowering and grain filling stages of wheat. These were then compared with a no-stress control treatment, which received a regular irrigation at 10-days interval. Soil moisture profile studies revealed that the control treatment experienced no stress as its soil moisture tensions did not exceed 0.25 bars. The other treatments experienced different magnitudes of stress depending on how their soil moisture tensions exceeded 0.5 bars. From the soil suction and water content relationships (figure 2), it appeared that at about 0.5 bars most of the available water in the experimental plot had been lost. The ground water table during the growing season fluctuated between 80 and 100 cm from the soil surface. Both levels of soil moisture stress slightly decreased the plant water potential. However, the water stress in plant was mild even in treatments with minus two irrigations at the various growth stages Plant growth, yield components and yield were generally decreased; whereas plant canopy temperatures, grain protein content and roots shoot ratio were increased by stress conditions. Thus the four selected growth, stages were sensitive to both levels of moisture stress. However, the most sensitive (critical) growth Stages under Kadawa conditions (with high water table) were jointing and flowering for treatments with minus two and one irrigations, respectively. These caused 36.2 and 18.6% reductions in grain yield. Generally, omitting two irrigations at all growth stages and one at flowering and grain filling were deleterious to wheat and should be avoided. In fact these caused significant reductions (between 16.3 and 36.2%) in grain yield. However, omitting one irrigation during tillering and jointing could be tolerated since this reduced grain yield by only 12.9 and 10.7%, respectively. Finally, it appeared that the 10-days irrigation interval (as in the control treatment) could be conveniently used at Kadawa and environs with similar conditions as the yield was good.

EFFECTS OP MOISOTE STRESS AT DIFFERENT GROWTH STAGES ON THE PERFORMANCE AND YIELD OP WHEAT (Triticum aestivum L. em T h e l l .)

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