Document Type: Research Paper
Key Laboratory of Mollisol Agroecology, Northeast Institute of Geography and Agroecology, Chinese Academy
of Sciences, Harbin 150081, China.
Center for Agriculture, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA, 01003, USA.
Wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) variety mixtures represent a relatively unexplored
avenue for maintaining yield and improving flour quality. A field experiment was
conducted to examine the responses of three spring wheat varieties in pure variety
and in variety mixtures under continuous cropping in Northeast China. Three modern
spring wheat varieties, along with a three-variety mixture and a two-variety mixture
of equal proportions, were planted during the growing seasons of 2006 to 2009. The
mixtures were chosen mainly to have complementary traits of yield potential and
grain quality. Wheat yield was not affected by continuous cropping but by growing
conditions, varieties and variety mixture. Yield stability of 3-variety mixture
exceeded that of the pure varieties. The 3-variety mixture consistently out-yielded the
means of the respective components (mid-components), with a mean advantage of
0.17 t ha-1 over the different growing conditions. Variety mixture offers greater yield
advantages over lower-yield but good-quality variety and improves dough
rheological properties and some chemical properties over the higher-yield variety.
The 1:1:1 variety mixtures have greater environmental plasticity and potential
application in improving flour quality than pure varieties and are therefore
recommended for use to Northeast China’s wheat growers even in the absence of
Keywords: Triticum aestivum; Cultivar blends; Yield stability; Flour quality; Test
weight; Sedimentation value.