1Department of Agrotechnology and Crop Management, University of Warmia and Mazury in Olsztyn, Oczapowskiego 8, 10-719 Olsztyn, Poland
2Department of Phytopatology and Entomology, University of Warmia and Mazury in Olsztyn, Prawochenskiego 17, 10-719 Olsztyn, Poland.
3Department of Plant Breeding and Seed Production, University of Warmia and Mazury in Olsztyn, Plac Lodzki 3, 10-724 Olsztyn, Poland
4Department of Agrotechnology and Crop Management, University of Warmia and Mazury in Olsztyn, Oczapowskiego 8, 10-719 Olsztyn, Poland.
5Department of Plant Breeding and Seed Production, University of Warmia and Mazury in Olsztyn, Plac Lodzki 3, 10-724 Olsztyn, Poland.
One of the goals of organic crop production is to grow species which combine traditional pro-healthy properties, innovative cultivation practices and harmony with the environment. Among the ancient species the spring spelt is especially predisposed for organic farming. In comparison with common wheat spring spelt has a relatively short research history on physiological analysis of growth and development. The objective of this study has been to compare the agronomic performance and growth characteristics of spring varieties of Triticum spelta L. and Triticum aestivum L. cultivated in the organic farming system and sown on different dates. The basis for the research were data from field plot experiments arranged in completely randomized blocks carried out in 2010 and 2011. The factors were cultivars: two cultivars of T. aestivum (Trappe, Waluta) and two cultivars of T. spelta (Roter Sommerkolben, Speltz aus Tzaribrod) and sowing terms: optimal and postponed by two weeks. During the seasons there were assessed: weed infestation and disease resistance, leaf chlorophyll index, biometric measurements associated with plant morphology and yielding and nutritional value of grains. It was stated that cultivars of T. spelta are more tolerant to unfavorable environmental conditions than cultivars of T. aestivum, showing better adaptability to habitat conditions, when-due to the worse weather-the uptake of nutrients from soil can be limited, stronger competitiveness against weeds and higher tolerance to diseases of leaves and stems. The content of chlorophyll in spelt wheat grown in organic cultivation as well as yields are very stable across years. Under unfavourable weather conditions during the season, spelt wheat can give yields which compare to yields of common wheat, but when in the favorable weather conditions common wheat varieties generate yields higher by 42% (cv. Trappe) up to 47% (cv. Waluta).