Effect of late application of nitrogen on the yield and protein content of wheat
Australian Journal of Experimental Agriculture and Animal Husbandry
22(115) 54 - 61
On the Darling Downs the growth and yield of a semi-dwarf wheat (cv. Oxley) under supplementary irrigation was increased by the application of up to 400 kg/ha of nitrogen (N) at planting. Nitrogen at 50 or 100 kg/ha applied at the boot stage to supplement 100 kg/ha applied at planting increased grain yield by 459 and 478 kg/ha, respectively. However, yields were still below those where all the N was applied at planting. In contrast, supplementary N (0, 25, 50 or 100 kg/ha) at flowering or after flowering generally did not increase grain yield. One exception to this was where only 50 kg/ha was applied at planting; an additional 100 kg/ha at flowering increased grain yield by 602 kg/ha. Applied at planting, more than 200 kg/ha of N was needed to produce premium grade wheat (i.e. protein content above 11.4%). To achieve this protein content where 100 kg/ha had been applied at planting an additional 100 kg/ha was needed at the boot stage or 50 kg/ha at flowering. Applied after flowering, up to 100 kg/ha of additional N produced wheat of a protein content too low to attract a premium payment. A similar quantity of N was assimilated whether the entire N application was applied at planting or where the application was split between planting and boot or flowering. Less N was assimilated when the application was split between planting and after flowering. More N was assimilated from soil than from foliar applications at the boot stage. Soil and foliar applications were equally effective at flowering in increasing the amount of N assimilated as well as the grain protein content. However, after flowering foliar application was the more effective method. The application of N at flowering to increase the protein content of this semi-dwarf cultivar is not an attractive commercial practice. The price ratio of premium to Australian Standard White wheat in recent years (<1.071 ) is less than that needed (1.0954-1.3013) to justify splitting the N application to lift grain protein content above 11.4% at the expense of yield.
Full text doi:10.1071/EA9820054
© CSIRO 1982