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Open AccessArticle

Yield Stability in Winter Wheat Production: A Survey on German Farmers’ and Advisors’ Views

Department of Agronomy, Institute of Agronomy and Plant Breeding I, Justus-Liebig-University Giessen, 35392 Giessen, Germany
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Agronomy 2017, 7(3), 45; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy7030045
Received: 8 May 2017 / Revised: 9 June 2017 / Accepted: 22 June 2017 / Published: 26 June 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biological Technology Platforms Accelerating Crop Improvement)
Most of the available research studies have focused on the production of high grain yields of wheat and have neglected yield stability. However, yield stability is a relevant factor in agronomic practice and, therefore, is the focus of this comprehensive survey. The aim was to first describe the importance of yield stability as well as currently used practical management strategies that ensure yield stability in wheat production and secondly, to obtain potential research areas supporting yield stability in the complex system of agronomy. The target groups were German farmers with experience in wheat production and advisors with expertise in the field of wheat cultivation or research. A sample size of 615 completed questionnaires formed the data basis of this study. The study itself provides evidence that the yield stability of winter wheat is even more important than the amount of yield for a large proportion of farmers (48%) and advisors (47%). Furthermore, in the view of the majority of the surveyed farmers and advisors, yield stability is gaining importance in climate change. Data analysis showed that site adapted cultivar choice, favorable crop rotations and integrated plant protection are ranked as three of the most important agronomic management practices to achieve high yield stability of wheat. Soil tillage and fertilization occupied a middle position, whereas sowing date and sowing density were estimated with lower importance. However, yield stability is affected by many environmental, genetic and agronomic factors, which subsequently makes it a complex matter. Hence, yield stability in farming practice must be analyzed and improved in a systems approach. View Full-Text
Keywords: advisor; agronomy; agronomic practice; climate change; cultivar choice; environment; farmer; plant production advisor; agronomy; agronomic practice; climate change; cultivar choice; environment; farmer; plant production
MDPI and ACS Style

Macholdt, J.; Honermeier, B. Yield Stability in Winter Wheat Production: A Survey on German Farmers’ and Advisors’ Views. Agronomy 2017, 7, 45.

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