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Spring wheat yield and quality related to soil texture and nitrogen fertilization

Nyiraneza, J., Cambouris, A.N., Ziadi, N., Tremblay, N., Nolin, M.C. (2012). Spring wheat yield and quality related to soil texture and nitrogen fertilization, 104(3), 589-599. http://dx.doi.org/10.2134/agronj2011.0342

Abstract

Efficient N fertilization is crucial for economic wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) production and is of great agronomical and environmental significance. A study was conducted at 12 site-years in eastern Canada to evaluate the effect of soil surface textural groups, N rate (0-200 kg N ha-1) and application timing on grain yield (GY), N uptake, nitrogen uptake efficiency (NUE), grain protein content (GPC), test weight, and thousand kernel weight (TKW). Chlorophyll meter readings (CMR) were taken at tillering and at flowering to assess in-season wheat N nutrition. Fertilization and soil textural group effects were significant on all measured parameters and their interaction was significant on GPC, TKW, test weight, and CMR. Total N uptake and GPC ranged from 39 to 96 kg N ha-1 and from 13 to 18 g kg-1, respectively, and total N uptake increased proportionally to N rates. Applying N levels >120 kg N ha-1 did not increase total yield, test weight, TKW, or CMR values. The variation in GY, N uptake, and GPC explained by the relative CMR taken at flowering was 87, 88, and 73%, respectively. This study demonstrates that in-season wheat N nutrition can be monitored by CMR and that surface soil texture is an important parameter that influences wheat N response and wheat quality parameters. Applying half of the recommended rate (120 kg ha-1) at planting and the rest at tillering resulted in a high total yield, high grain N uptake, and the highest GPC price premium. © 2012 by the American Society of Agronomy. 5585 Guilford Road, Madison, WI 53711. All rights reserved.

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