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This article in AJ

  1. Vol. 103 No. 4, p. 1100-1105
    Received: Dec 2, 2010

    * Corresponding author(s): robert.blackshaw@agr.gc.ca


Barley Productivity Response to Polymer-Coated Urea in a No-Till Production System

  1. R. E. Blackshaw *a,
  2. X. Haoa,
  3. K. N. Harkerb,
  4. J. T. O'Donovanb,
  5. E. N. Johnsonc and
  6. C. L. Verad
  1. a Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Lethbridge Research Centre, 5401 1st Ave. South, Lethbridge, AB, Canada T1J 4B1
    b Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Lacombe Research Centre, 6000 C & E Trail, Lacombe, AB, Canada T4L 1W1
    c Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Scott Research Farm, Scott, SK, Canada S0K 4A0
    d Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Melfort Research Farm, Melfort, SK, Canada S0E 1A0


Farmers are interested in more cost-efficient and environmentally sound fertilization programs in field crops. A multi-site study on the Canadian prairies was conducted to determine the effect of polymer-coated urea (Environmentally Smart Nitrogen, ESN) compared with urea on weed management and barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) yield and quality. Treatments included a semi-dwarf and tall barley cultivar, polymer-coated urea (ESN) and urea, 100 and 150% of soil test N fertilizer rates, and 50 and 100% of registered herbicide rates. Treatments were applied to the same plots in four consecutive years. Barley yield was greater with semi-dwarf compared with tall barley in 13 of 20 site-years but weed biomass was greater in 7 of 18 site-years with the semi-dwarf cultivar. The 150% N fertilizer rate increased yield of both cultivars in 9 of 20 site-years and of the semi-dwarf cultivar in four additional site-years. Barley yield was often similar with ESN and urea but ESN increased barley yield in three site-years at both N rates, two additional site-years at the 150% N rate, and one further site-year with semi-dwarf barley. Barley grain protein concentration was greater with ESN than with urea in 8 of 20 site-years. Information gained in this study will be used to advise growers on improved barley production practices.

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