Biotechnology in Animal Husbandry 29 (3), p 555 562 , 2013 ISSN 1450-9156
Publisher: Institute for Animal Husbandry, Belgrade-Zemun 12
AGRO-ECOLOGICAL CONDITIONS AND MORPHO-
PRODUCTIVE PROPERTIES OF BUCKWHEAT
J. Ikanović1, S. Rakić1, V. Popović2, S. Janković3, Đ. Glamočlija1, J.
1University of Belgrade, Faculty of Agriculture, 6 Nemanjina, Zemun – Belgrade, 11080, Serbia
2Institute of Field and Vegetable Crops, 30 Maksima Gorkog, Novi Sad, 21000, Serbia
3Institute for Science Application in Agriculture, 68b Blvd. despota Stefana, Belgrade, 11000, Serbia
Corresponding author: Sveto Rakić firstname.lastname@example.org
Original scientific paper
Abstract: The effect of different agro-ecological conditions on morpho-
productive properties of buckwheat cultivar Novosadska was investigated during
2011-2012 at three different localities. The types of soil on which the experiments
were conducted were as follows: the eutric cambisol - in Valjevo, the chernozem -
in Nova Pazova and the grey forest soil in Nova Varoš. Agro-ecological conditions
affected the growth and productivity of the buckwheat crops at all three localities.
The highest yields per unit area were obtained on the chernozem-type soil (1.65 t
ha-1), while the average yields on the less fertile soils in the hilly and mountainous
regions of Serbia were 1.31 t ha-1 on the grey forest soil and 0.80 t ha-1 on the eutric
cambisol. The results showed that buckwheat can be successfully grown on
different soil types, since the experiments on all locations were carried out without
fertilization, i.e. using the natural fertility of the soil.
Key words: buckwheat, agro-ecological conditions, productive properties
Buckwheat (Fagopyrum esculentum Moench.) is an annual plant in the
family Polygonaceae, the genus Fagopyrum, which belongs to alternative cereals
for its method of cultivation and use. Buckwheat is used in human and animal
nutrition, as well as in pharmaceutical and other industries (Rakić et al., 2005). It is
very popular in developed countries, where the importance is given to healthy,
organically produced food (Popović et al., 2013). Its morphological properties,
primarily height and stem branching, depend to certain extent on a method of
cultivation and weather/soil conditions, since buckwheat is characterized by
constant growth during the vegetation period. Its main product – seed – is similar
to a grain of bread cereals for its nutritive value. The seed contains about 70% of
carbohydrates, 10% total proteins, 3.7% cellulose, 1.73% oil, 1.72% mineral salts
J. Ikanović et al.
(K, Ca, P, Fe, and Mg) and vitamins B and E, yet it does not contain gluten and it is
suitable for people allergic to this protein. The hard pericarp should be removed
from the seed prior to use (Glamočlija et al., 2011). Buckwheat is also a honey
plant that has a long and redundant bloom (Zečević, 2008). Since buckwheat by-
products are smaller seeds, not suitable for dehulling, they are therefore used for
animal feed because of high protein content. Post-harvest residues have high
protein content, but less digestible carbohydrates than straw from small grains.
Residues from dehulling buckwheat fruits can also be used for medium quality
animal feed, suitable for poultry (Glamočlija et al., 2011). In some parts of a
buckwheat plant there are compounds identified as having positive effects on
human health (Lačnjevac et al., 2012). Ground biomass can be used fresh, silage or
dried as feed for domestic animals (Glamočlija et al., 2011). The rise in living
standards and fabrication improvement have enabled small grains and millets to
dominate, decreasing the interest in buckwheat and thus minimizing its production.
An increase in the quantity of produced buckwheat was recorded in the last decade,
mainly due to an increase in demand for buckwheat seed products (Zečević, 2008;
Sedej, 2011). This species is not given attention it deserves for its adaptability and
processing possibilities (Abdel-Aal et al., 1995; Dražić et al., 2010). Glamočlija et
al. (2011) point out that buckwheat can be planted in hilly areas as a post-crop after
harvesting winter forages. Thus can be used for bee foraging, and, if buckwheat
seeds do not reach their full maturity by early autumn frosts, buckwheat can be
used for silage.
The goal of this research was to investigate possibilities of growing
buckwheat in different conditions and on different types of soil.
Materials and Methods
During the two-year research (2011-2012) on effects of agro-ecological
conditions on plant height and yield, seeds of buckwheat cultivar Novosadska
(selected at the Institute of Field and Vegetable Crops from Novi Sad) were used.
The experiments for this research were set up at three localities in Serbia: Valjevo
(western Serbia); Nova Varoš (south-western Serbia) and Nova Pazova (Srem).
The experiments were set up on different soil types - on the eutric cambisol in
Valjevo, the grey forest soil in Nova Varoš and the chernozem in Nova Pazova.
Wheat was used as a pre-crop at all localities. Planting was done manually. At all
localities, when determining the planting date, the optimal conditions for
germination, sprouting, and further growth of buckwheat were estimated. In
Valjevo and Nova Pazova, planting was done at the end of the first decade of April,
and in Nova Varoš in mid-May. Stem height was measured at the time of full
bloom. Harvest was done manually. Yield was calculated after harvesting fruits in
the stage of wax maturity from the middle of a stem. Seeds were collected from the
Agro-ecological conditions and morpho-productive..
fruits and dried down to moisture content of 10%. Based on the dried seed mass,
yield per hectare was calculated. The sample for measuring plant height and
calculating yield comprised ten plants from twelve randomly chosen checkpoints
from each locality (a total of 120 plants per locality). For assessing the significance
of the effect of agro-ecological conditions (locality and year) on the plant height
and yield of buckwheat, the analysis of variance for two-factorial experiments was
used (ANOVA). Experimental data were analysed using the statistics software
package STATISTICA 10 for Windows. All evaluations of significance were made
on the basis of the LSD test at 0.05% and 0.01% significance levels.
Meteorological conditions. During the research, the following meteorological
conditions were monitored and analysed – temperatures and amounts and
distribution of precipitation in buckwheat vegetation period. Data on monthly
precipitation and air temperatures in 2011/2012 were retrieved from the Republic
Hydrometerological Service of Serbia. The annual heat distribution varied with the
localities, months and years. In 2011, the average air temperatures recorded at all
three localities were lower than in 2012 (Figure 1). As for the monthly distribution
of precipitation, it varied with all localities, with pronounced maximum
temperature recorded in June. In 2011, the total annual amounts of precipitation
recorded at all three localities were smaller than in 2012 (Figure 2).
Soils. The experiments were conducted on three soil types that differed
significantly in regard to their chemical properties (Table 1). The chernozem soil
was moderately alkaline, (pH in KCl = 8.2), low humus, 2.8%, well supplied with
nitrogen, 0.23%, medium available phosphorus (12.3 mg 100 g-1 soil) and well
supplied with potassium (23.88 mg 100 g-1 soil).
Table 1 Agrochemiocal properties of soil
pH CaCO3 Humus Nitrogen P2O5 K2O
Soil values nKCl H2O % % % mg 100 g-1 mg 100 g-1
Chernozem 8.20 7.30 8.60 2.80 0.23 12.30 23.20
Grey forest soil 5.20 4.70 1.80 2.10 0.10 1.15 6.88
Eutric cambisol 6.20 5.60 1.60 2.40 0.10 1.18 8.94
Grey forest soil was of moderately acidic reaction (pH in KCl = 5.2), low
in humus, 2.10%, of medium nitrogen content, 0.10%, with a very low content of
available phosphorus (1.15 mg 100 g-1 soil ) and low potassium (6.88 mg 100 g-1
soil). Land of brown forest soil (eutric cambisol) was of slightly acid reaction (pH
in KCl = 6.2), low in humus, 2.40%, of medium nitrogen content, 0.1%, with very
low levels of available phosphorus (1.18 mg 100 g-1 soil ) and low potassium level
(8.94 mg 100 g-1 soil). The most fertile soil was chernozem, while the grey forest
soil type and brown forest soil (eutric cambisol) had poor content of P and K.
J. Ikanović et al.
Figure 1. Temperature, °C, in Valjevo, Nova Varos, Nova Pazova, Serbia (2011-2012)
Figure 2. Precipitation, mm, in Valjevo, Nova Varos, Nova Pazova, Serbia (2011-2012)
Results and Discussion
Based on the results of the research, it was determined that the plant height
and yield were considerably affected by the agro-ecological conditions (Table 2). It
was also assessed that the localities considerably affected the plant height, while it
was the interaction between the agro-ecological conditions (interaction
locality/year, AB; Table 3) that affected the yield.
The average plant height in full bloom was considerably affected by the
weather conditions and the localities. In full bloom, in the first year of the research,
the plant height at all localities was considerably lower, due to smaller amount of
precipitation and its adverse distribution in 2011. Considerably higher average
Agro-ecological conditions and morpho-productive..
height had the plants cultivated on the chernozem (Nova Pazova; 116.20 cm).
Comparing plant height of the plants cultivated at the other localities, there was a
significant difference determined. The lowest average height had the plants
cultivated on the grey forest soil (NovaVaroš; 91.30 cm).
Table 2. The effect of agro-ecological conditions on buckwheat height (cm) and yield (t ha-1)
a,b,c – significant at p<0.01
Parameter Locality, A Year, B Results Average, A 0.05 0.01
Valjevo 2012 101.80b 102.70b
Nova Varoš 2012 92.20c 91.30c
Nova Pazova 2012 118.00a 116.20a
Average, B 2012 104.00 103.4 2.17 2.97
LSD AB 0.05 3.77
LSD AB 0.01 5.14
Valjevo 2012 0.71e 0.80c
Nova Varoš 2012 1.30c 1.31b
Nova Pazova 2012 1.73a 1.65a
Average, B 2012 1.25 1.25 0.03 0.04
LSD AB 0.05 0.05
Yield, t ha-1
LSD AB 0.01 0.07
The average yield in Nova Pazova on the chernozem (1.65 t ha-1) was
considerably higher than the yields at the other localities. The lowest average yield
(0.80 t ha-1) was obtained on the eutric cambisol in Valjevo. Similar results had
Glamočlija et al. (2011), who pointed out that all abrupt changes in agro-ecological
conditions can have adverse effect on buckwheat. However, buckwheat can recover
well after the period of adverse weather conditions. With better weather conditions,
buckwheat can bloom again and form new fruits, but it can also elongate the period
of vegetation, with pronounced successive maturity. The results obtained on the
less fertile soils in the hilly and mountainous regions of Serbia and in changed
agro-ecological conditions show these plants can be also successfully cultivated in
less favourable conditions for field crops production (Popović et al., 2013). The
evidence of a big effect that soil fertility has on buckwheat yield was given with
the results of the effect of side-dressing, given by Filipović et al. (2005), while
Choi et al. (1990) point out a significant effect of the applied production
J. Ikanović et al.
technology (time and method of planting). A growing demand for buckwheat that
the food and pharmaceutical industry have shown that buckwheat production
should be organized on bigger areas, mainly for meeting one’s own needs, but also
for export (Dražić et al, 2010; Sedej, 2011).
Table 3. Analysis of variance for morphological and productive properties of buckwheat
Parameter Source of variation df MS F 0.05 0.01
Locality, A 2 1553.700 190.638 ** 2.66 3.63
Year, B 1 10.800 1.325 ns 2.17 2.97
AB interaction 2 18.900 2.319 ns 3.77 5.14
Error 20 8.150
Locality, A 2 1.822 1108.961 ** 0.04 0.05
Year, B 1 0.002 0.982 ns 0.03 0.04
AB interaction 2 0.071 43.471 ** 0.05 0.07
Error 20 0.002
NS not significant; * significant at p<0.05; **significant at p< 0.01
Buckwheat nowadays tends to get new economic importance, and a new
agro-technological and agro-commercial value (Glamočlija et al., 2010). Not
taking into account the value of buckwheat by-products, honey and positive impact
this plant has on overall conditions of soil, with the average yield of 1.200 kg ha-1
one can achieve a positive financial result. The same author points out that, if
buckwheat is used for bee foraging and green biomass, it can be planted
approximately five times in succession to elongate the period of its use as long as
There was no difference in the average yields in the related period.
Analysing the yields from the different localities, the interaction between the
localities and the year of the experiment was determined.
The agro-ecological conditions at all three localities affected the growth
and productivity of buckwheat. The plants cultivated on the chernozem had higher
values of the investigated properties than the ones cultivated on the eutric cambisol
and the grey forest soil. The highest yields per unit area were obtained on the
chernozem-type soil (1.65 t ha-1), while the average yield on the less fertile soils in
the hilly and mountainous region of Serbia was 1.31 t ha-1 on the grey forest soil
and 0.80 t ha-1 on the eutric cambisol. The obtained results showed buckwheat had
great cropping potential, since the experiments were conducted on the soil fund of
natural fertility at all localities, so that buckwheat can be also grown successfully in
changed agro-ecological and soil conditions.
Agro-ecological conditions and morpho-productive..
The paper was financed by the Ministry of Education, Science and
Technological Development of the Republic of Serbia, Project TR - 31078.
AGROEKOLOŠKI USLOVI GAJENJA I MORFOLOŠKO-
PRODUKTIVNA SVOJSTVA HELJDE
J. Ikanović, S. Rakić, V. Popović, S. Janković, Đ. Glamočlija, J. Kuzevski
Ispitivan je uticaj različitih agroekoloških uslova na morfološko-
produktivne osobine heljde sorte Novosadska u periodu od 2011-2012. na tri
različita lokaliteta. Tipovi zemljišta na kome su postavljeni ogledi su: gajnjača -
lokalitet Valjevo, černozem - lokalitet Nova Pazova i sivo šumsko zemljište na
lokalitetu u Novoj Varoši. Agroekološki uslovi na sva tri posmatrana lokaliteta
uticali su na rast i produktivnost heljde. Najveći prinosi zrna heljde po jedinici
površine dobijeni su na zemljištu tipa černozem (1,65 t ha-1), dok na zemljištima
manje prirodne plodnosti brdsko-planinskog područja Srbije, prosečan prinos bio je
1,31 t ha-1 na sivom šumskom zemljištu, a na gajnjači 0,80 t ha-1. Dobijeni rezultati
su pokazali da se heljda može uspešno gajiti na našim zemljištima, budući da su
ogledi na svim ispitivanim lokalitetima izvedeni bez prihrane tj. na prirodnoj
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Received 10 June 2013; accepted for publication 20 July 2013