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Agronomy Journal Abstract - Soil Fertility & Crop Nutrition

Spring Wheat Yield and Quality Related to Soil Texture and Nitrogen Fertilization


This article in AJ

  1. Vol. 104 No. 3, p. 589-599
    Received: Oct 14, 2011

    * Corresponding author(s): athyna.cambouris@agr.gc.ca
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  1. Judith Nyiranezaa,
  2. Athyna N. Cambouris *b,
  3. Noura Ziadia,
  4. Nicolas Tremblayc and
  5. Michel C. Nolinb
  1. a AAFC, Soils and Crops Research and Development Centre, 2560, Hochelaga Blvd., Québec, QC, Canada G1V 2J3
    b Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC), Pedology and Precision Agriculture Laboratories, 979, de Bourgogne Ave., room 140, Québec, QC, Canada G1W 2L4
    c AAFC, 430, Gouin Blvd, St-Jean-sur-Richelieu, QC, Canada, J3B 3E6


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.

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