Source: UNIVERSITY OF ALASKA submitted to
SELECTING AND EVALUATING WHEAT, BARLEY, OIL SEED CROPS AND DEVELOPING INTEGRATED CROP MANAGEMENT SYSTEM IN ALASKA
Sponsoring Institution
National Institute of Food and Agriculture
Project Status
NEW
Funding Source
Reporting Frequency
Annual
Accession No.
1019139
Grant No.
(N/A)
Project No.
ALK19-04
Proposal No.
(N/A)
Multistate No.
(N/A)
Program Code
(N/A)
Project Start Date
Apr 5, 2019
Project End Date
Sep 30, 2023
Grant Year
(N/A)
Project Director
Zhang, MI, .
Recipient Organization
UNIVERSITY OF ALASKA
(N/A)
FAIRBANKS,AK 99775
Performing Department
Agriculture and Horticulture
Non Technical Summary
Climate change in Alaska is already happening and the current warming climatic conditions will allow Alaska to become a major food crop production area in USA. This project aimsto develop, evaluate, and select crops that can be grown in Alaska. Those crops include hard red spring wheat, Polish canola, semi dwarf sunflower, feed barley with malting potential, and cover crops suitable for three different regions of Alaska. The relationship between crop growth and climatic variables is also important in understanding directions of crop development and selection. For example, the temperature distribution during the growing season and such distribution impact on growth stages of tested crops. Artificial intelligent algorithms will be used to ascertain such relationships, which will significantly improve our understanding on climate change impact on Alaska's agriculture production and agriculture potential in the future. Also, such workwill lay thefoundation for future cooperation and competitive proposal development with universities in lower 48 states. All research results will bedisseminated to public and professionals which includes the release of crop cultivars and cover crop information to Alaska's farmers and farms in US Pacific Northwest coast area, publications for extension and outreach to growers, and for professional peer reviewed papers, and presentations both for growers and professional conferences.Continuing toevaluate crops such as barley (feed, hull-less, and malting), hard red spring wheat, and oilseeds will provide new information for Alaska producers. This will help Alaska growers to find alternative crops, particularly feed barley potentially to be used as malting barley, and hard red spring wheat for food of Alaskans. This is the focus of Objective 1. The open pollinated Polish canola cultivar experiment will lead to the selection of a new canola cultivar which is suitable for local climatic conditions. As such, local growers will have a reliable seed source as well as a suitable rotational crop for improving yields, disease resistance, weed control and a reliable oilseed supply for local markets. Selection of the dwarf sunflower that matures early for combining will allow Alaska growers to have a niche crop (Objective 2). Objective 3 is to evaluate cover crops and cover crop combinations so that growers in Alaska can use them to increase soil productivity and maintain soil health. Objective 4 is to fill the information the gap of field crop performance information and current and future climate change variables. This will provide outlook for crop production potential in Alaskacurrently and in the future. We will produce outreach products such as presentations, publications, and peer reviewed journal papers to our clients both in Alaska and outside of Alaska. All of these fit USDA-NIFA 2014-2018 Strategic Goals 1, 3 and 4.
Animal Health Component
0%
Research Effort Categories
Basic
(N/A)
Applied
80%
Developmental
20%
Classification

Knowledge Area (KA)Subject of Investigation (SOI)Field of Science (FOS)Percent
2021844108110%
2021848108110%
2031541106030%
2031599106030%
2051541106010%
2051599106010%
Goals / Objectives
The objectives of this research are to:1) continue to identity and select malting, hull-less, and feed barley, spring wheat (Ingal crosses with three Canadian varieties, and other Nordic varieties) and rye cultivars that can be grown in Alaska with a reasonable assurance of a successful harvest to supply the local markets, and continue testing and selecting from the original dwarf sunflower so thatit can be an economic crop (i.e. bird feed) in Alaska,2) develop and select an open pollinated Polish canola variety that is suitable for Alaska growing conditions, and continue to select dwarf sunflower,3) develop cover crop seed mixtures so that they can be used for Alaska in different regions for soil quality improvement,4) develop an AI-based crop model so that crop performance can be predicted in the future, and,5) reach out to Alaska growers by publishing results from variety tests and cover crop practices evaluated in Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station bulletins and other outlets.
Project Methods
Objective 1. Wewill conduct aliterature search for information, and cooperate with breeders in US Western land grant universities to select northern adapted varieties of malting and hull-less barley, spring wheat Nordic varieties and crosses of "Ingal" with CDC Bounty, AC Intrepid, and Roblin along with their parent materials, and rye from northern Canada and US sources both from universities and industries. The tentative crops to be tested are listed in Table 1. We will evaluate these varieties for three to five years at Fairbanks, and Palmer Alaska. New varieties will be added as they become available and older ones obviously not well adapted to the locations will be dropped. Crops will be seeded in small plots 2 m by 9 m (6 feet by 30 feet) with proper seeding rates depending on variety and crop. We will collect daily weather data (precipitation, air and soil temperatures, and potential evaporation) at each location using the established weather stations in the fields. Air and soil temperature will be determined continuously by using HOBO temperature sensors located above the soil surface, at the soil surface and within the root zone, and soil moisture within the root zone will be determined by sampling soils at 0-15 cm at different growth stages and also by placing moisture sensors in the root zone. During the growing season, we will record physiologic growth stage information (time of emergence, heading, maturity), plant height, lodging and disease resistance for each plot. At harvest, we will determine yield and test weights for each plot. Grains of malting barley or feed barley used for malt will be tested for germination and protein content, and will be sent to commercial a laboratory for malting quality analysis. The experiment is a complete randomized block design with three replicates. Data will be statistically analyzed using ANOVA and least significant difference (Fisher) for mean comparison at 5% probability. Statistical analysis will be also conducted for relationships between maturity and yield versus heat units received (i.e. growing degree days), precipitation, etc. We will then be able to use this information along with long term weather records to predict the likelihood of a variety maturing in a given location. This information will be used to make variety recommendations to farmers in each major agricultural regions (i.e. Fairbanks and Delta Junction) of Alaska. The dwarf sunflower selection for agronomic quality (i.e. combine harvesting) is still a few years away from release. We will continue to make selections in Fairbanks to increase genetic uniformity and early maturity so that the head can be dried enough for combining. The selection criteria are early, and uniform in maturity to produce evenly dry heads that can be combined. These selections will be disseminated to selected cooperators with a cultivation protocol for testing in growers' field as a potential agronomic crop. Data collected during the experiments include emergence, plant height, time of flowering and maturity, kernel weight, and yield, at time of release, seed oil content and protein will be analyzed. The experiment will be conducted only at the Fairbanks location.Table 1. Tentative list of crops to be included in the project.No.CropNameSeeding rate(lbs/acre)Seeding time1BarleyOtal90May2BarleyLidal90May3BarleyFinaska90May4BarleyDatal90May5BarleyWooding90May6Hooded barleyWeal90May7Hulless barleySunshine90May8Hulless barleyThual90May9Yellow oatToral90May10Yellow oatCeal90May11Hulless oatBelmont90May12Hard red spring wheatNogal90May13Hard red spring wheatIngal90May14Hard red spring wheatAAC redwater90May15Hard red spring wheatCDC Bounty90May16Hard red spring wheatAC Intrepid90May17Hard red spring wheatRoblin90May18Hard red spring wheatIngal x CDC Bounty90May19Hard red spring wheatIngal x AC Intrepid90May20Hard red spring wheatIngal x Roblin90May21Hard red spring wheatNAMO 4090May22Hard red spring wheatNAMO 4290May23Hard red spring wheatNAMO 4390May24Semi dwarf sunflowerMidnight Sun6.2MayObjective 2. Developing and selecting an open pollinated Polish canola cultivar that is suitable inAlaska, by growing a mixture of different Polish canola cultivars. These cultivars include Colt, Horizon, Reward, Hysin 110, and AC Sunbeam that are short growing season Polish canola varieties and they are GMO free. Seeds will be collected each year during the project time and examined for their quality such as green seed content, oil content, kernel weight, and germination rate. The experiment will be conducted in 6 ft by 30 ft (2 m x 9m) plots in three replicates in Fairbanks and Palmer areas. Since this canola is an open pollinated species, through this experiment, we hope to develop a cultivar that is suitable for local climatic conditions so that Alaska growers can have an economic and reliable canola seed source. Data collected will be statistically analyzed (ANOVA and LSD). We will also continue to select dwarf sunflower so that they can reach maturity for combining. In each year, about 20 plants will be seeded and early matured ones will be selected and processed. Seeds from selected ones will be planted in next year.Objective 3. Cover crop mixtures will be evaluated for their biomass production, and their impact on soil quality. Alaska varies in climatic conditions from coast to interior. Cover crop combinations chosen for evaluation will meet the needs in those various climatic conditions. The combinations of cover crops are 1) red clover + oat, 2) red clover + Italian rye, and 3) red clover + buckwheat. Those combinations will be tested in Palmer and Fairbanks areas. Since the Palmer is close Alaska coast area, the results should be applicable to the coast area. The combinations will be seeded in May in 6 ft by 27 ft plots in three replicates. Soil samples will be taken at each end of growing season for determination of soil properties (e.g. nutrients, organic matter etc.). Data will be statistically analyzed (i.e. ANOVA and LSD for mean comparison).Objective 4. All field results along with the past results will be used for simulation using two totally different types of models, plant physiological based model, and statistical or AI models. Future climate change scenarios (temperature change in next 30 or 50 years during the growing season), and temperature variations during the growing seasons in relationship with different growth stages will be simulated. The results of the two models will also be compared using same dataset. For plant physiological model, DSSAT 4.5 will be used for the simulation. But for statistical model, we will use supervised and unsupervised learning. From those two approaches, a variety of algorithms will be tested such as principal component analysis, k-means, smart vector machine, random forest and neural network for their fitness using root mean square error (RMSE). We will closely cooperate with climate change scientists in the University of Alaska Fairbanks and with universities of lower 48 states with similar interests, and also will work closely with the USDA multi state group on impact of climate change on crops growth in central states. Through this cooperation, we hope to develop new proposals at the regional level.Objective 5. Results from objectives 1 to 4 will be statistically analyzed using ANOVA for treatment effects and LSD for mean comparisons. The results will be summarized and presented in the producers meetings (such as Harvest Wrap-up) annually or field days organized extension specialists. Results will be also presented in the national professional conference such as AGU, and Agronomy Society of America annual conference. Results will be published in extension bulletins, and peer reviewed journals. Annual reports will be also written for USDA-NIFA.

Progress 10/01/19 to 09/30/20

Outputs
Target Audience:Alaska and circumpolar farmers as well as researchers on climate changes in Alaska and northern environments. Changes/Problems:Migratary birds are the challenges for both seeding and harvesting. Extra effort is needed to protect the plots being sabataged by the birds. What opportunities for training and professional development has the project provided?Train a Msc graduate student from Universtiy of Alaska Fairbanks, and a Ph.D. student through joint research with Washington State University. How have the results been disseminated to communities of interest?The variety test results and the current status of the DSSAT model have been presented to local farmers at workshops sponsored by AFES and CES like the annual Harvest Wrap-Up and Alaska Sustainable Agriculture Conference. What do you plan to do during the next reporting period to accomplish the goals?This study is a continuing collection of information that provides yearly updates on new and better adapted crop varieties, the response of agronomic crops to dryland and irrigated farming conditions, increasing fertilizer use efficiency, soil/plant nutrient sources from former waste products such as fish cannery wastes, and provides a database for local producers to determine the economic viability for those crops.

Impacts
What was accomplished under these goals? Average yields for all spring grain and oilseed varieties at the Fairbanks (FBKS) and Palmer (PAL) locations were about equal to the standard test varieties. No variety trials were planted in 2018- 2019 in Delta Junction (DJ) area due to budget cut. However, weather data was collected from the DJ location at it is a potential growing area. The average FBKS location yields for 6-row feed barley (Otal - standard barley variety, Wooding, Lidal, Datal, Finaska, Weal - hooded forage barley) were 2182 lbs/acre and the Palmer (PAL) location yields were 57 lbs/acre. The average FBKS location yield for 2-row feed barley (CDC Austenson from Saskatchewan, S120.23, S107.58, Lody, CCRA and Latah) were 4784 lbs/a. The average FBKS location yields for hulless barley (Thual and Sunshine) were 1859 lbs/acre and the PAL location yields were 43 lbs/acre. The average yields for malting barley (Hockett from Montana and Conlon from North Dakota) were 4008 lbs/a at FBKS and 622 lbs/a at the PAL location. The average FBKS location yields for hard red spring wheat (Ingal - standard wheat variety, Vidal and Nogal from Alaska, CDC Bounty and AC Intrepid from Saskatchewan, Roblin and ACC Redwater from Manitoba, and Glenn from North Dakota) were 2460 lbs/acre and the PAL location yields were 410 lbs/acre. The average yields for soft white wheat (Louise and Becks 137) at the FBKS location were 3811 lbs/a and 572 lbs/a at the PAL location. The yield for spring rye (Gazelle) was 2958 lbs/a and 243 lbs/a at the PAL location. Average yields for common oat (Toral, Ceal and Nip from Alaska) were 2189 lbs/acre at FBKS and 68 lbs/acre at PAL. Average yields for the open pollinated Polish canola (Deltana) at FBKS were 1304 lbs/acre. Yields from a dwarf open pollinated sunflower (Midnight Sun-flower) were 1240 lbs/a at FBKS. Three plant physiologic growth stages were used along with the weather data to measure crop adaptability, emergence, heading/flowering, and maturity. Emergence, heading/flowering, and maturity occurred on close to the long term average at both FBKS and PAL locations for all crops. Historical weather records over the past 39 years, for the growing season (May 1 - September 30) for each location have been collected as well as the current year's weather data. The growing degree days (GDD) were calculated and used along with precipitation as a means of evaluating the adaptability of crops for successful production in Alaska. The 2019 growing season was cooler than the long term average for the FBKS and DJ locations and warmer at PAL location. The precipitation was greater than the long term average at the FBKS and DJ locations but much lower at the PAL location. By the end of May, DJ was 175 growing degree days (GDD) lower and 0.33 inches of precipitation higher, FBKS was 159 GDD lower and 0.01 in lower and PAL was 35 GDD higher and 0.17 in lower. At the end of June DJ was 481 GDD lower and 0.43 in lower, FBKS 467 GDD lower and 0.58 in lower and PAL 134 GDD higher and 0.34 in lower. At the end of July DJ was 845 GDD lower and 1.64 in lower, FBKS 802 GDD lower and 1.78 in lower and PAL 297 GDD greater and 1.05 in lower. At the end of the season in August DJ was 1214 GDD lower and 0.58 in higher, FBKS 784 GDD lower and 1.88 in higher and PAL 440 GDD higher and 3.14 in lower. Cooperative research with Dr. Steve Jones, director/plant breeder and Dr. Karen Hills, former graduate research assistant, Washington State University, Mount Vernon Northwestern Washington Research & Extension Center, Mount Vernon, WA, provided F2 generation hard red spring wheat crosses between the Alaska variety Ingal and early Canadian varieties AC Intrepid, CDC Bounty, and Roblin for evaluation and selection trials in 2010. The crosses were made in an attempt to have the early maturity of Ingal with the seed shatter resistance of the Canadian varieties and were compared in field trials with each of the parents every year since. The Ingal x AC Intrepid has shown the greatest potential with early maturity and high yields at all three locations. Maturity of the crosses was comparable with the parents at both locations, occurring at 1202 growing degree days (GDD) in FBKS and 1072 GDD in PAL. Yields of this cross were 3037 lbs/acre at FBKS and 420 at PAL. Yields compared with the parents Ingal were 1842 lbs/acre at FBKS and 374 at PAL and AC Intrepid were 3014 at FBKS and 493 at PAL. Part of the yield differences was due to predation by spring migratory birds after planting and the severe drought at the PAL location. Single head selections from the Ingal x AC Intrepid cross have been taken for both and small large early maturing heads were collected in starting in 2015 and planted out in in succeeding years to evaluate crop uniformity along with early maturity, lodging, and shatter resistance. Small head selections yielded 1580 lbs/a and large head selections yielded 2713 lbs/a at the FBKS location. Maturity for both sizes of head selections was the same as for the original cross at 1202 GDD.

Publications

  • Type: Theses/Dissertations Status: Published Year Published: 2019 Citation: Crop Modeling to assess the impact of climate change on spring wheat growth in sub-arctic Alaska
  • Type: Journal Articles Status: Published Year Published: 2019 Citation: Econopouly, Bethany, Bob M Van Veldhuizen, Steven R Lyon, David W Killilea, Mingchu Zhang, Stephen Jones. 2019.Early maturing spring wheat om Nordic wildtype NAM-B1 gerplasm for short-duration alternative wheat producing regions. Plant Genetic Resources: Characterization and Utilization 17(4), 352-361.


Progress 04/05/19 to 09/30/19

Outputs
Target Audience:Alaska and circumpolar farmers as well as researchers, and those who are concerned on the impact of the climate change on the circumpolar north. The group was reached by attending the 10th Circumpolar Agriculture Conference in 13 - 15 March 2019 in Rovaniemi Finland. Working relationship was built by developing joint research proposal of involving researchers of EU, Canada, and US. Changes/Problems:Migratory birds are the problem both at time of seeding and harvestin in Fairbanks and Palmer sites. Extra labor were sent to drive the bird away from the plots. What opportunities for training and professional development has the project provided?The project provided training of a MSc. degree student, Stephen Harvey, in the use of the DSSAT computer model to assess climate change on the growth of hard red spring wheat at two locations in Alaska. Ph.D. candidate Bethany Econopouly of the Mount Vernon Research and Extension Center of Washington State University is working on this project as a part of her thesis. Both of whom graduated at the end of the Spring 2019 semester. How have the results been disseminated to communities of interest?The variety test results and the current status of the DSSAT model have been presented to local farmers at workshops sponsored by AFES and CES like the annual Harvest Wrap-Up and Sustainable Ag Conference. What do you plan to do during the next reporting period to accomplish the goals?This study is a continuing collection of information that provides yearly updates on new and better adapted crop varieties, the response of agronomic crops to dryland and irrigated farming conditions, increasing fertilizer use efficiency, soil/plant nutrient sources from former waste products such as fish cannery wastes, and provides a database for local producers to determine the economic viability for those crops.

Impacts
What was accomplished under these goals? Average yields for all spring grain and oilseed varieties at the Fairbanks (FBKS) and Palmer (PAL) locations were about equal to the standard test varieties. No variety trials were planted in 2018- 2019 in Delta Junction (DJ) area due to budget cut. However, weather data was collected from the DJ location at it is a potential growing area. The average FBKS location yields for 6-row feed barley (Otal - standard barley variety, Wooding, Lidal, Datal, Finaska, Weal - hooded forage barley) were 2182 lbs/acre and the Palmer (PAL) location yields were 57 lbs/acre. The average FBKS location yield for 2-row feed barley (CDC Austenson from Saskatchewan, S120.23, S107.58, Lody, CCRA and Latah) were 4784 lbs/a. The average FBKS location yields for hulless barley (Thual and Sunshine) were 1859 lbs/acre and the PAL location yields were 43 lbs/acre. The average yields for malting barley (Hockett from Montana and Conlon from North Dakota) were 4008 lbs/a at FBKS and 622 lbs/a at the PAL location. The average FBKS location yields for hard red spring wheat (Ingal - standard wheat variety, Vidal and Nogal from Alaska, CDC Bounty and AC Intrepid from Saskatchewan, Roblin and ACC Redwater from Manitoba, and Glenn from North Dakota) were 2460 lbs/acre and the PAL location yields were 410 lbs/acre. The average yields for soft white wheat (Louise and Becks 137) at the FBKS location were 3811 lbs/a and 572 lbs/a at the PAL location. The yield for spring rye (Gazelle) was 2958 lbs/a and 243 lbs/a at the PAL location. Average yields for common oat (Toral, Ceal and Nip from Alaska) were 2189 lbs/acre at FBKS and 68 lbs/acre at PAL. Average yields for the open pollinated Polish canola (Deltana) at FBKS were 1304 lbs/acre. Yields from a dwarf open pollinated sunflower (Midnight Sun-flower) were 1240 lbs/a at FBKS. Three plant physiologic growth stages were used along with the weather data to measure crop adaptability, emergence, heading/flowering, and maturity. Emergence, heading/flowering, and maturity occurred on close to the long term average at both FBKS and PAL locations for all crops. Historical weather records over the past 39 years, for the growing season (May 1 - September 30) for each location have been collected as well as the current year's weather data. The growing degree days (GDD) were calculated and used along with precipitation as a means of evaluating the adaptability of crops for successful production in Alaska. The 2019 growing season was cooler than the long term average for the FBKS and DJ locations and warmer at PAL location. The precipitation was greater than the long term average at the FBKS and DJ locations but much lower at the PAL location. By the end of May, DJ was 175 growing degree days (GDD) lower and 0.33 inches of precipitation higher, FBKS was 159 GDD lower and 0.01 in lower and PAL was 35 GDD higher and 0.17 in lower. At the end of June DJ was 481 GDD lower and 0.43 in lower, FBKS 467 GDD lower and 0.58 in lower and PAL 134 GDD higher and 0.34 in lower. At the end of July DJ was 845 GDD lower and 1.64 in lower, FBKS 802 GDD lower and 1.78 in lower and PAL 297 GDD greater and 1.05 in lower. At the end of the season in August DJ was 1214 GDD lower and 0.58 in higher, FBKS 784 GDD lower and 1.88 in higher and PAL 440 GDD higher and 3.14 in lower. Cooperative research with Dr. Steve Jones, director/plant breeder and Dr. Karen Hills, former graduate research assistant, Washington State University, Mount Vernon Northwestern Washington Research & Extension Center, Mount Vernon, WA, provided F2 generation hard red spring wheat crosses between the Alaska variety Ingal and early Canadian varieties AC Intrepid, CDC Bounty, and Roblin for evaluation and selection trials in 2010. The crosses were made in an attempt to have the early maturity of Ingal with the seed shatter resistance of the Canadian varieties and were compared in field trials with each of the parents every year since. The Ingal x AC Intrepid has shown the greatest potential with early maturity and high yields at all three locations. Maturity of the crosses was comparable with the parents at both locations, occurring at 1202 growing degree days (GDD) in FBKS and 1072 GDD in PAL. Yields of this cross were 3037 lbs/acre at FBKS and 420 at PAL. Yields compared with the parents Ingal were 1842 lbs/acre at FBKS and 374 at PAL and AC Intrepid were 3014 at FBKS and 493 at PAL. Part of the yield differences was due to predation by spring migratory birds after planting and the severe drought at the PAL location. Single head selections from the Ingal x AC Intrepid cross have been taken for both and small large early maturing heads were collected in starting in 2015 and planted out in in succeeding years to evaluate crop uniformity along with early maturity, lodging, and shatter resistance. Small head selections yielded 1580 lbs/a and large head selections yielded 2713 lbs/a at the FBKS location. Maturity for both sizes of head selections was the same as for the original cross at 1202 GDD.

Publications

  • Type: Theses/Dissertations Status: Published Year Published: 2019 Citation: Crop modeling to assess the impact of climate change on spring wheat growth in sub-arctic Alaska. Msc. thesis.ProQuest 13856242