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Effect of Salinity on Grain Yield and Quality, Vegetative Growth, and Germination of Triticale

Francois, L. E., Donovan, T.J., Maas, E. V., Rubenthaler, G. L.
Agronomy journal 1988 v.80 no.4 pp. 642-647
triticale, crop yield, vegetative growth, seed germination, cultivars, sodium chloride, salt tolerance, calcium chloride, crop quality, salinity
Development of high yielding triticale (X) cultivars may promote an increased acreage of this crop on irrigated soils in the western United States. Often these soils are, or have the potential to become, highly saline. Because of the lack of information on salinity effects on vegetative growth and seed yield of triticale, the salt tolerance of two cultivars (Beaguelita ‘s’ and Cananea 79) was determined in a 2-yr field plot study. Six salinity treatments were imposed on a Holtville clay [clayey over loamy, montmorillonitic (calcareous), hyperthermic Typic Torrifluvent] by irrigating with waters salinized with NaCl and CaCl, (1:1 by weight). Electrical conductivities of the irrigation waters were 1.8,2.6, S.I, 7.5,9.6, and 12.2 dS/m the first year, and 1.4, 3.9, 7.9, 12.0,16.0, and 20.3 dS/m the second year. Grain yield, vegetative growth, and germination were measured. Relative grain yield for both cultivars was unaffected by soil salinity up to 7.3 dS/m (electrical conductivity of the saturated-soil extracts in the rootzone). Each unit increase in salinity above 7.3 dS/m reduced grain yield by 2.8%. These results place triticale in the salt-tolerant category. Yield reduction resulted primarily from a reduction in spike number rather than from lower weight per spike or lower weight per individual seed. Salinity reduced vegetative growth less than grain yield in Cananea 79 but more in Beaguelita ‘s’. Both cultivars were slightly less salt tolerant at germination than they were after the three-leaf stage of growth.