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This article in AJ

  1. Vol. 104 No. 6, p. 1612-1617
    unlockOPEN ACCESS
    Received: June 11, 2012
    Published: September 13, 2012

    * Corresponding author(s): David.Clay@sdstate.edu
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Winter Wheat Crop Reflectance and Nitrogen Sufficiency Index Values are Influenced by Nitrogen and Water Stress

  1. David E. Clay *,
  2. Tulsi Prasad Kharel,
  3. Cheryl Reese,
  4. Dwayne Beck,
  5. C. Gregg Carlson,
  6. Sharon A. Clay and
  7. Graig Reicks
  1. South Dakota State Univ., Brooking, SD 57007


In-season N applications to winter wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) may increase profits and improve N fertilizer accuracy. The objectives of this experiment were to determine the impact of N and water stress on crop reflectance and N sufficiency index (SI) values. The experiment contained five N rates, two water treatments, and four blocks. Crop reflectance was measured at the stem extension and flag leaf growth stages, sufficiency index (SI)-NDVIwf was ratio between the underfertilized normalized difference vegetation index value {NDVI = [near infrared (NIR)-red]/[NIR+red]} and the NDVI value from well fertilized and well watered treatments, while SI-NDVImz was ratio between underfertilized NDVI values and NDVI values from well fertilized plots within a water stress treatment. Yield losses due to water and N stress were determined using 13C isotopic discrimination. This research shows that: (i) at the stem extension and flag leaf growth stages, water stress and N stress increased, green, red, and red-edge reflectance and reduced NDVI values (ii) following the economic optimum nitrogen rate (EONR) produced grain with greater than 120 g kg−1 protein and <10 min stability; (iii) at stem elongation and flag leaf, N fertilizer induced yield gains had a stronger relationship with SI-NDVImz (stem extension, r = 0.49*; flag leaf, r = 0.51**) than SI-NDVIwf (stem extension, r = 0.29; flag leaf, r = 0.33); and (iv) SI-NDVImz had greater fertilizer recommendation accuracy than SI-NDVIwf. These findings suggest that in wheat production, SI should be referenced to well fertilized areas within a management zone.

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Copyright © 2012. Copyright © 2012 by the American Society of Agronomy, Inc.