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Crop structure in winter oats and the effect of nitrogen on quality-related characters

White, Ethel, Finnan, John
Journal of crop improvement 2017 v.31 no.6 pp. 758-779
Avena sativa, grain quality, nitrogen, oats, panicles, seeds, spikelets, winter
The relationship between panicle structure and oat grain quality characteristics was examined in a winter oat (Avena sativa) experiment, cv. Gerald, fertilized with 80 and 200 kg/ha N. Spikelets on each whorl were counted and separated into primary, secondary, and tertiary grains, which were counted and weighed, and the kernels extracted manually and weighed. Tiller and whorl rank had relatively small effects on weight per grain and kernel content. Nitrogen application significantly increased weight per primary and secondary grain on the main stem and T1, the first tiller, while spikelet and grain numbers increased only on T1. However, weight per grain and kernel contents in all whorls on both the main stem and T1 were not significantly affected by nitrogen. Although kernel contents were significantly affected by nitrogen application on some occasions, increases and decreases were less than 2.5%. Across the whole plant, numbers of primary and secondary grains increased at the higher nitrogen application, but weight per primary grain and kernel contents were unaffected. However, weight per secondary grain significantly increased at the higher nitrogen application, thus improving uniformity of grain size which is of value to millers.