Small Grains Variety Evaluation 
at Marana, Maricopa, and Yuma, 1998  

M. J. Ottman and M. T. Rogers



Small grain varieties are evaluated each year by University of Arizona personnel at one or more locations. The purpose of these tests is to characterize varieties in terms of yield and other attributes. Variety performance varies greatly from year to year and several site-years are necessary to adequately characterize the yield potential of a variety. The results contained in this report will be combined with results from previous years in a summary available from Arizona Cooperative Extension.


Small grain varieties were tested as part of the on-going effort to assess variety productivity and characteristics. Barley, durum, and wheat commercial cultivars were tested. The purpose of these tests were to characterize new varieties in terms of yield potential, relative maturity, quality, and other characteristics. Small plot variety trials do not substitute for localized on-farm testing of new varieties. Varieties are known to differ in their response to specific management regimes and weather conditions. A summary of small grain variety trials conducted by the University of Arizona is available from your local Cooperative Extension office.


Barley, durum, and wheat varieties were evaluated at the following locations: Marana Agricultural Center by Arizona Plant Breeders, Maricopa Agricultural Center by the University of Arizona, Maricopa by World Wide Wheat, Yuma Valley by Western Plant Breeders, and Yuma Valley Agricultural Center by the University of Arizona. The seed was planted with a cone planter in seven rows spaced 7 inches apart and about 20 ft long. The seeding rate was approximately 100 pounds of seed per acre for wheat and durum varieties and 85 lbs/acre for barley varieties. The experimental design was a randomized complete block design with 4 replications and a variable number of entries depending on the crop and location. Growing conditions at each site are listed below. The following data was collected for at least one location: grain yield, grain protein, test weight, kernel weight, HVAC, plant height, lodging, heading, anthesis, and physiological maturity. Grain was harvested with small plot combines and yields are expressed on an "as is" moisture basis. Kernel weight and HVAC were determined from 10 g of hand picked seed. Grain protein was determined with a NIR whole grain analyzer and expressed on a 12% moisture basis. Anthesis is defined as when about half of the heads are flowering. Physiological maturity is noted when the glumes turn brown.. Abbreviations for the sources of varieties are: APB = Arizona Plant Breeders, UA = University of Arizona, UC = University of California, WPB = Western Plant Breeders, WWW = World Wide Wheat.

Marana (Arizona Plant Breeders)

The soil type was a Pima clay loam. Seed was planted into dry soil on November 22, 1997, and a germination irrigation was applied November 24 (4.0 inches). The plots were irrigated on February 5 (3.7 inches), March 13 (4.1 inches), April 9 (4.2 inches), and April 27 (3.8 inches). Preplant fertilizer was applied at a rate of 58 lbs N/acre and 72 lbs P2O5/acre as 16-20-0. UAN 32 was applied in the irrigation water at a rate of 59 lbs N/acre on February 5 and 64 lbs N/acre on March 13. The plots were harvested with a small plot combine on June 10, 1998.

Maricopa Ag. Center (University of Arizona)

The soil type was a Casa Grande sandy loam. The field was in sudangrass the previous summer. Seed was planted into moist soil on Field 109 on November 21, 1997. Preplant nitrate-nitrogen was 5.6 ppm and ammonium-nitrogen was 4.9 ppm. Preplant fertilizer was applied at a rate of 80 lbs N/acre and 50 lbs P2O5/acre as urea and 16-20-0. The plots were irrigated on November 21, March 4, April 2, April 15, and April 29. UAN32 was applied in the irrigation water at a rate of 40 lbs N/acre on March 4, 26 lbs N/acre on April 2, and 20 lbs N/acre on April 15. Plot size was 5 ft x 20 ft with a harvest area of 5 ft x 16 ft. The plots were harvested with a small plot combine on May 14 (barley and wheat) and May 27 (durum).

Maricopa (World Wide Wheat)

Varieties were planted at Pat Murphree Farms on December 17. Germination irrigation was applied the same day with 77 lbs N and 58 lbs P applied in the irrigation water. The plots were irrigated January 28, March 20, April 15, and April 29. Nitrogen as UAN32 was applied via irrigation water on January 28 (70 lbs), March 20 (35 lbs), and April 15 (35 lbs). In February, 50 lbs of nitrogen was applied as urea. The plots were sprayed with Hoelon on January 14. Plot harvest area was 72 ft2. The plots were harvested June 26, 1998.

Yuma Valley Ag. Center (University of Arizona)

The soil type was a Gadsden clay loam. Seed was planted into dry soil on December 3, 1997. The plots were irrigated on December 4, December 17, January 9, February 3, March 5, April 2, April 21 and May 21. Nitrogen was applied preplant at a rate of 60 lbs N/acre and UN32 was applied in the irrigation water on December 17 (100 lbs N/acre), January 9 (75 lbs N/acre) , and February 3 (50 lbs N/acre), March 5 (50 lbs N/acre) and April 2 (50 lbs N/acre). Hoelon (2.7 pts/acre) and Buctril (1.5 pts/acre) were applied on January 7. Plot harvest area was 75 ft2. The plots were harvested from June 9-11.

Yuma Valley (Western Plant Breeders)

The soil type was a clay loam. Seed was planted on December 4, 1997 with germination irrigation applied the same day. Preplant fertilizer was applied at a rate of 90 lbs N/acre as urea and 50 lbs P2O5/acre as 11-52-0. The plots were irrigated February 4, February 26, March 21, April 4, and April 25. Nitrogen as NH3 was applied February 2, February 26 and March 21 at rates of 50, 50 and 70 lbs N/acre, respectively. Plots were harvested the first week of June, 1998.


Growing season weather is presented in Table 1. The average monthly maximum temperature was below normal and the average monthly minimum temperature was near or slightly above normal. Precipitation was above normal especially in February and March. The crop developed slower than usual but weather conditions were generally favorable for small grains production. Yield and plant characteristics of the varieties are presented for the various locations in Tables 2 - 6 and a summary of the grain yields at all locations is presented in Table 7. Several locations and years are needed to accurately assess variety performance. Contact your local Cooperative Extension for a summary of small grains trials in Arizona. The results of this trial are most useful when combined with data from other years.


Financial support for this project was received from the Arizona Crop Improvement Association and the Arizona Grain Research and Promotion Council. 

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This is a part of publication AZ1059: "1998 Forage and Grain Agriculture Report," College of Agriculture, The University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona, 85721. 
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