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Article

Post-Harvest Management Practices Impact on Light Penetration and Kernza Intermediate Wheatgrass Yield Components

1
Department of Agronomy, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI 53706, USA
2
The Land Institute, Salina, KS 67401, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Susanne Barth
Agronomy 2021, 11(3), 442; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy11030442
Received: 6 February 2021 / Revised: 19 February 2021 / Accepted: 24 February 2021 / Published: 27 February 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Multifunctional Forages)
Kernza intermediate wheatgrass (Thinopyrum intermedium) is the first commercially developed perennial grain crop in North America, with multiple environmental and economic benefits. One of the major challenges for adoption of this dual-use forage and grain crop is the decline in grain yield in subsequent harvest years. Post-harvest management practices (e.g., chopping, burning, chemical, and mechanical thinning) could reduce the intraspecific competition for light and maintain Kernza grain yields over time. We aimed to identify management practices that improve light penetration and propose a conceptual model to explain the mechanisms contributing to Kernza grain yield. We applied 10 management practices after the first Kernza grain harvest in a randomized complete block design experiment with three replications, at two different locations in Wisconsin, USA. Light penetration increased when post-harvest management practices were applied. Mechanical or chemical thinning had relatively lower lodging and increased yield components per row, but not per area due to a reduction in the number of productive rows. Threshed grain yield per area in the second year of Kernza was similar among the treatments despite the differences in vegetative biomass generated. Further research is needed to optimize management practices to maintain Kernza grain yield over time. View Full-Text
Keywords: perennial grain; dual-use; forage; grass; yield components perennial grain; dual-use; forage; grass; yield components
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MDPI and ACS Style

Pinto, P.; De Haan, L.; Picasso, V. Post-Harvest Management Practices Impact on Light Penetration and Kernza Intermediate Wheatgrass Yield Components. Agronomy 2021, 11, 442. https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy11030442

AMA Style

Pinto P, De Haan L, Picasso V. Post-Harvest Management Practices Impact on Light Penetration and Kernza Intermediate Wheatgrass Yield Components. Agronomy. 2021; 11(3):442. https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy11030442

Chicago/Turabian Style

Pinto, Priscila, Lee De Haan, and Valentin Picasso. 2021. "Post-Harvest Management Practices Impact on Light Penetration and Kernza Intermediate Wheatgrass Yield Components" Agronomy 11, no. 3: 442. https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy11030442

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