Agroscope, Institute for Plant Production Sciences IPS, 1260 Nyon, Switzerland

Protein potential of winter wheat varieties

A ‘protein potential’ concept has been developed by analogy with the ‘grain yield’ concept, with the aim of better understanding the factors influencing wheat protein content and identifying the most stable varieties as well as the amount of protein that remains to be reached. The protein potential of 18 varieties of winter wheat covering all quality categories was established experimentally, and varied from 13.0% to 16.6%, according to the variety. Additional experimental data were used to evaluate the frequency at which the protein potential was achieved in the various conditions. Close to 5000 protein-content values stemming from practice (Fenaco GOF) also enabled a comparison of the performances of the varieties in both tests and practice. The analysis of these data demonstrated that the amount of nitrogen fertiliser applied as well as the splitting of applications influenced the rate of achievement of protein potential. Certain varieties are stable and others unstable, whether they are cultivated under test or practical conditions. The results from both sources are consistent, suggesting that the research data allow an accurate prediction of the performance of the varieties grown under practical conditions.

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