Wheat Variety Performance Tests in Tennessee  2021

Dennis West, Professor, Plant Science Department David Kincer, Research Associate, Plant Science Department Ryan Blair, Extension Area Grains & Cotton Specialist Tyson Raper, Associate Professor, UT Extension Cotton, and Wheat Specialist

Agronomic Crop Variety Testing and Demonstrations Department of Plant Sciences University of Tennessee Knoxville

General Information

Research and Education Center Tests:  The 2020-21 variety performance tests were conducted on 68 soft red winter wheat varieties in each of the physiographic regions of the state. Tests were conducted at the East TN (Knoxville), Plateau (Crossville), Highland Rim (Springfield), Middle TN (Spring Hill), Milan (Milan), and West TN (Jackson) Research and Education Centers (REC), and at the Agricenter in Memphis.  Data form the test at the Agricenter in Memphis is not reported due to feeding damage by deer.

All varieties were seeded at rates of 35 seed per square foot (1.5 million seed per acre) (Table 1).  Plots were seeded with drills using 7–7.5 inch row spacing.  The plot size was six, seven, nine or ten rows, 20 to 25 feet in length depending on location equipment.  Plots were replicated three times at each location. Seed of all varieties were treated with a fungicide.

County Standard Tests: The County Standard Wheat Test was conducted on 13 soft red winter wheat varieties across eight locations in West Tennessee (Carroll, Fayette,

Gibson, Henry, Madison, Moore, Weakley counties, and the West Tennessee Ag Research and Education Center).  Each variety was evaluated in a large strip-plot at each location, thus each county test was considered as one replication of the test in calculating the overall average yield.  At each location, plots were planted, sprayed, fertilized, and harvested with the equipment used by the cooperating producer in their farming operation.  The width and length of strip-plots were different in each county; however, within a location in a county, the strips were trimmed so that the lengths were the same for each variety, or if the lengths were different then the harvested length was measured for each variety and appropriate harvested area adjustments were made to determine the yield per acre.

Growing Season:  Planting of the winter wheat crop was timely at most locations.

Wetter than normal winter weather caused stand loss where soils were saturated for extended periods. From heading to harvest, dry conditions resulted in light disease pressure, and harvest was completed in a timely manner.

According to the Tennessee Agricultural Statistics Service (TASS), Estimated State yield average was 74 bu/a in 2021. Tennessee producers planted approximately 400,000 acres of wheat for all purposes in the fall of 2020.  Approximately 320,000 acres are estimated to be harvested for grain. According to TASS, the total wheat production in Tennessee for 2021 is projected to be 23.7 million bushels, an increase of 75 percent from 2020 production.

Interpretation of Data

The tables on the following pages have been prepared with the entries listed in order of performance, the highest-yielding entry being listed first.  All yields presented have been adjusted to 13.5% moisture.  At the bottom of the tables, LSD values stand for Least Significant Difference.  The mean yields of any two varieties being compared must differ by at least the LSD amount shown to be considered different in yielding ability at the 5% level of probability of significance.  For example, given that the LSD for a test is 8.0 bu/a and the mean yield of Variety A was 50 bu/a and the mean yield of Variety B was 55 bu/a, then the two varieties are not statistically different in yield because the difference of 5 bu/a is less than the minimum of 8 bu/a required for them to be significant.  Similarly, if the average yield of Variety C was 64 bu/a then it is significantly higher yielding than both Variety B (64 – 55 = 9 bu/a = LSD of 8) and Variety A (63 – 50 = 13 bu/a > LSD of 8).

The coefficient of variation (C.V.) values are shown at the bottom of each table.  This value is a measure of the error variability found within each experiment.  It is the percentage that the square root of error mean square is, of the overall test mean yield at that location.  For example, a C.V. of 10% indicates that the size of the error variation is about 10% of the size of the test mean.  Similarly, a C.V. of 30% indicates that the size of the error variation is nearly one-third as large as the test mean.  A goal in conducting each yield test is to keep the C.V. as low as possible, preferably below 20%.

Wheat Results Summary

Yield and Agronomic Traits:  During 2021, 68 wheat varieties were evaluated in six Research and Education Center (REC) tests, and 13 varieties were evaluated in 8 county standard tests (CST).  Twelve varieties in the CST were also present in the REC tests (Table 5).  Eleven companies and four universities entered varieties into the tests this year. The average yield of the 68 varieties in the 2021 REC tests was 85 bu/a (range from 79 to 95 bu/a, Table 2).  The varieties ranged in heading date from 118 to 125 days after January 1 (Julian date) with most of the varieties clustering around 121 days (Table 3).  The average yield of the 13 varieties in the county tests was 94 bu/a, with individual varieties ranging from 101 to 87 bu/a (Table 4).  The test weight values ranged from 55.1 to 59.4 lbs/bu in the REC tests (Table 3) and 56.5 to 60.4 lbs/bu in the CST (Table 4).

2019/2020 Standard Wheat Test

County Standard Test

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