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Ancient Grains: Emmer

Emmer is an ancient two rowed hulled wheat that is also known as farro in Europe. Unlike modern wheat, emmer is a tetraploid and contains 28 chromosomes instead of 42. Emmer is a high protein wheat and is used for pasta, bread, pilafs and flatbreads.
Lucille Spring Emmer

Lucille Spring Emmer

Emmer Trials

This project was designed to evaluate some potential emmer varieties in an organic system.  Studies were conducted for three years at in New York and Pennsylvania and North Dakota in collaboration with colleagues from Cornell University, North Dakota State University  and the Organic Research and Information Network.

These data are summarized from the original organic variety reports at Cornell University Small Grains Cultivar Testing website. This work was supported by National Institute of Food and Agriculture, USDA award #2011-51300-30697.

Spring emmer lines were evaluated collaboration with colleagues at both Cornell Freeville, NY, and Wilsboro, NY and three locations in North Dakota, North Dakota State University, Cathay, ND and Robinson, ND (Table 1).

Spring emmer lines were planted in early April, and topdressed with pelletized poultry manure at 70 lb N/acre. Yields averaged 46.8 bu/a across all locations and 16.0 bu/a at the Penn State location.  Two of the top yielding lines across all lcoations were Lucille and ND common. These are also two popular lines in use by farmers in our region.

Yields in the PA tests were impacted some by weed issues which caused some of the reduced yields.  Also, the Rock Springs location was the most southern of all the locations. At our location, the crop headed in late June and was ready for harvest in early August.

Table 1.  Spring emmer performance during 2012-2015 at Freeville (FV), NY,  North Dakota State University (NDSU), Cathay, ND (NDCath) and Robinson, ND (NDRob) Rock Springs, PA (PA), and Willsboro, NY (WB).

EntryVarietyYield1 FV 3yrYield1 NDSU 4yrYield1 NDCath 3yrYield1 NDRob 3yrYield1 PA 3yrYield1 WB 3yrYield1 MeanYield1 RankTest2 Bu/acTest2 RankLodging MeanHeight (in) MeanHeading Date
1 Bowman  36.2  72.3     44.1  51.1  12.9 42.5 43.2   9  35.0  10     3.8  37.4   26-Jun
2 Common-H  37.4  71.2     45.5  54.2  13.3 45.9 44.6   7  35.7   7     3.9  37.4   26-Jun
3 Common-M  41.7  69.3     44.2  51.6  13.4 50.5 45.1   6  35.7   8     3.4  37.8   26-Jun
4 Common-MC  42.6  70.4     44.9  54.3  15.3 48.9 46.1   5  35.8   6     2.8  37.8   26-Jun
5 Common-R  40.4  69.0     46.3  50.4  11.3 47.6 44.2   8  35.2   9     3.6  36.6   26-Jun
6 Debra  34.7  47.5     27.2  43.6  24.3 61.3 39.7  11  52.4   1     0.8  26.8   19-Jun
7 Lucille  51.7  88.8     48.5  55.1  17.9 71.7 55.6   2  36.0   5     3.0  38.2   26-Jun
8 ND Common  48.6  88.2     51.3  59.8  19.9 66.6 55.7   1  36.8   2     3.7  38.6   25-Jun
9 PI254148  27.4  61.4     23.2  40.5  14.9 71.8 39.9  10  30.1  12     4.5  28.3   19-Jun
10 PI254162  26.8  60.7     40.3  49.3  9.1 39.7 37.6  12  30.9  11     5.0  31.1   21-Jun
11 Red Vernal  46.1  84.0     51.7  59.7  18.7 71.5 55.3   3  36.4   4     3.2  39.8   25-Jun
12 Vernal  49.1  80.5     49.0  58.6  20.5 68.0 54.3   4  36.5   3     3.1  38.6   25-Jun
Mean  40.2  72.0     43.0  52.3  16.0 57.2 46.8  36.4     3.4  35.8   24-Jun

1Yield = (bu/ac)
2Test = (lbs/bu)

Table 2.  Spring emmer performance during 2012-2015 at Rock Springs, PA.

EntryVarietyYield1 2012Yield1 2013Yield1 2014Yield1 MeanYield1 RankTest2 2012Test2 2013Test2 2014Test2 MeanTest2 RankLodging MeanHeight (in) MeanHeading Date
1 Bowman 14.3 11.5 24.7 16.8 9 31.6 - 37.8 34.7 6 3.2 38.6 27-Jun
2 Common-H 14.2 12.5 24.0 16.9 8 30.6 - 38.0 34.3 7 4.3 38.6 27-Jun
3 Common-M 17.1 9.7 24.0 16.9 7 32.2 - 38.0 35.1 5 2.2 40.6 27-Jun
4 Common-MC 20.9 9.8 24.6 18.4 6 32.5 - 37.9 35.2 4 2.7 40.2 26-Jun
5 Common-R 12.5 10.2 21.9 14.9 10 30.3 - 37.8 34.0 8 4.3 39.4 27-Jun
6 Debra 43.2 5.4 - 24.3 2 51.5 - - - - 3.5 26.0 17-Jun
7 Lucille 24.2 11.6 22.9 19.6 5 32.0 - 31.2 31.6 9 2.5 39.4 26-Jun
8 ND Common 24.0 15.7 33.7 24.5 1 33.4 - 39.0 36.2 1 3.3 41.3 26-Jun
9 PI254148 17.2 12.6 - 14.9 31.7 - - - - - 5 28.3 16-Jun
10 PI254162 13.0 5.3 7.6 8.6 11 27.0 - 14.8 21.0 10 3.7 31.5 21-Jun
11 Red Vernal 22.3 15.1 28.3 21.9 4 32.9 - 37.6 35.3 3 3 40.9 25-Jun
12 Vernal 21.6 19.2 28.1 23.0 3 32.9 - 38.1 35.5 2 4.2 41.7 25-Jun

1Yield = (bu/ac)
2Test = (lbs/bu)

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This is a downloadable summary of the grain yield and quality results for spelt, emmer, and einkorn.