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Evaluating the impact of rainfall and temperature on wheat dough strength in Western Australia

Williams, R.M. and Diepeveen, D.A.ORCID: 0000-0002-1535-8019 (2019) Evaluating the impact of rainfall and temperature on wheat dough strength in Western Australia. Cereal Chemistry, 96 (2). pp. 370-379.

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Background and objectives
Western Australian wheat farmers rely on the international market to sell their wheat. One advantage they have in the market place is Australia's reputation for good and reliable wheat quality. However, consecutive years of weaker‐than‐expected dough strength placed specific consistency concerns on Western Australian hard‐grained wheat exports. To investigate why weak dough strength occurred, a multi‐season set of data was compiled. It was made up of quality results from historical crop reports and breeder trials. Recycling of data was an efficient initial step to examine the problem, but to overcome limitations, modeled climate measurements and phenotype information needed to be combined with the quality data to allow mixed model statistics to be used for analysis of the unbalanced data.

The key findings were three climate measurements linked to weak dough properties as measured by extensograph maximum resistance. A negative relationship between dough strength and rainfall in the period 60 days after flowering, tested as the percentage of total growing season rainfall, was found. Two temperature‐related measurements were identified as having a positive relationship with dough strength. These were the number of consecutive days that had a maximum temperature of ≥28°C and mean daily temperature range occurring during the 60‐day period after flowering.

The combined impact of moisture and temperature levels during the post‐flowering period on wheat dough strength builds on the previous understanding of high temperatures changing dough strength.

Significance and novelty
The recycling of data was a useful first step in understanding a complex issue, and the results provide a reference guide for further research into understanding the interaction between a changing growing environment and important wheat quality parameters.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Veterinary and Life Sciences
Publisher: American Association of Cereal Chemists
Copyright: © 2019 AACC International, Inc.
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