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Agronomy Journal Abstract -

The Effects of Anhydrous Ammonia at Planting Time on Spring Wheat and Barley1


This article in AJ

  1. Vol. 74 No. 6, p. 1081-1083
    Received: Mar 17, 1982

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  1. G. E. Varvel2



Anhydrous ammonia has become the main N source used in the northern Great Plains on small grains, but most of it is applied in the fall preceding the crop year. This practice has been used for convenience, to avoid moisture loss which can occur in the spring due to the depth of placement, and to avoid possible germination damage from the anhydrous application if small grains are planted immediately after injection.

The present studies were conducted to determine the effect of anhydrous ammonia on spring wheat, Triticum aestivum L., and barley, Hordeum vulgare L., at planting time.

Field experiments were conducted 1979-1981 on a Wheatville loam (coarse-silty over clayey, frigid Aerie Calciaquolls) soil. The treatments consisted of three rates of N as anhydrous ammonia (45, 90, and 135 kg/ha) in 1979 and four rates of N (0, 45, 90, and 135 kg/ha) in 1980-1981 at three depths (8,16, and 24 cm) in all combinations. Spring wheat and barley were then seeded at three different times. Seedling stand counts, grain yield, and protein were used to determine the effect of the treatments.

Seedling stands were reduced in some cases, but no reduction in grain yield or protein was obtained due to the reduction in stand. The most important factor in spring anhydrous application was the depth of application, which caused greater moisture loss and seedbed disruption at the 24-cm application depth. Significant responses to N were obtained, but N as anhydrous ammonia did not cause reduction in seedling stands of agronomic importance.

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