Die Bodenkultur - Journal for Land Management, Food and Environment

M. Bavec, F. Bavec, C. Plazovnik and S. Grobelnik Mlakar:

Buckwheat leaf area index and yield performance depending on plant population under full-season and stubble-crop growing periods


Two ways of buckwheat (Fagopyrum esculentum Moench) growing (full-season and stubble crop production) are common in Slovenia, but different plant populations may be necessary for the best yield from each of them. The main objective of this study was to determine how yield is affected by plant population increase from 250 to 1250 plants per m-2, and the growing period (full-season crop, 132 days and stubble crop, 89 days). The experiments were conducted in Maribor, using Slovene main buckwheat cultivar Darja and land race population, in 1997 and 1998. All the main treatments (plant population, growing period, genotype and year) affected leaf area index, the number of developed seeds plant-1 and seed yield kg ha-1. Numerous two- and three-way interactions were significant. The number of flower clusters differed according to the growing period, plant population and (plant population . genotype, plant population . growing period, . genotype, . year) interactions, but the number of undeveloped seeds was affected by the growing period, years and growing period . plant population . genotype interaction. High plant population gave greater LAI, but a lower number of flower clusters, flowers and developed seeds per plant than the low plant population. In spite of changed morphology, the plant population had the same effects on seed yield (kg ha-1) at 250 and 750 plants m-2, but with an extremely high plant population of 1250 plants m-2 reduced yield ha-1 only during the full season-crop vegetation period. Therefore, using low plant population (i. e. seed rate) instead of high seed rates is economically beneficial, whereas using higher plant population (due to higher LAI) may be more appropriate for weed control.

Key words: Buckwheat, plant population, vegetation period, morphology, genotype.