Yantai Gan, a researcher at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada at Swift Current, Saskatchewan, says that while seed size is a genetically controlled trait, the seed size distribution in the harvested seed lot is strongly influenced by several factors, including the growing season environment.
To help guide chickpea growers on the best agronomic practices for growing bigger seed, he
conducted a field experiment from 2004 to 2006 with plots located at Swift Current and Shaunavon, Saskatchewan.
"Yes, we know that seed size is partially determined by the variety, but for a given variety, we wanted to find out what the influence of different factors were on seed size," explains Gan
explains that this difference was mainly due to 2004 when the two stubble types were in adjacent fields.
"The year of 2004 was wet with growing season precipitation about 40 percent greater than normal and in that year we had a difference in seed size between barley and wheat stubble.The two stubble types were in separate, adjacent fields, though, but they had the same level of residual soil N and water.However, during the last two years (normal to dry years), the two stubble types were in the same field and we didn't see any difference.So, there is a need to determine whether the differences observed in 2004 were due to wet conditions or due to other factors.In general, I wouldn't be too concerned about wheat or barley stubble selection," explains Gan