The study of the phenology of crops, although quite popular, has limitations, mainly because of frequent changes to crop varieties and management practices. Here, we present data on the phenology and yield of winter rye in western Poland collected between 1957 and 2012 from a long-term field experiment. Data were examined for trends through time and compared to climatological factors using regression analysis. Both annual air temperature and precipitation increased during the study period, equivalent to 2 °C and 186 mm, respectively, over the 52-year period for which met data were available. We detected significant delays in sowing date and recently in emergence, but significant advances were apparent in full flowering date equivalent to 4 days/decade. Yield and plant density experienced a step like change in 1986; yield increasing by ca. 70 % and plant density increasing by ca. 50 %, almost coinciding with a similar change in annual mean temperature, but most likely caused by a changed seed rate and use of herbicides. Future climate change is expected to have a greater impact on this crop, but farmers may be able to adapt to these changes by modifying water regimes, using new machinery and sowing new rye varieties.
Bibliographical noteAvailable under Open Access
- Agricultural practices
- Crop phenology
- Long-term experiment
- Winter rye