Kentucky Small Grain Growers Association

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Research Report: Can Wheat Yield and Grain Fill Duration be Increased by Decreasing Wheat Canopy Temperature?

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By Carrie Knott, Grain Crops Agronomy, University of Kentucky

In 2015, the Kentucky Small Grain Growers’ Promotion Council, KyCorn and the Kentucky Soybean Promotion Board worked together to provide funds for the University of Kentucky to purchase a 460-ft lateral irrigation system at the Research and Education Center in Princeton. The T&L system, equipped with a variable rate irrigation system, was installed in September 2015.

In 2016, the irrigation system was calibrated and wheat was established that fall to examine the effect of wheat canopy temperature on final grain yield in 2017 growing season. In the spring of 2017, the equipment necessary to monitor canopy temperature was purchased and assembled. Unfortunately, there was a problem with the electronic system controlling the variable rate application system. This problem was fixed, however not until the wheat had begun to senesce. Therefore, we were unable to start this study in 2017. We will plant wheat again this fall and evaluate the impact of irrigation on wheat canopy temperature in 2018.