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This article in AJ

  1. Vol. 85 No. 1, p. 114-120
    Received: Aug 1, 1991

    * Corresponding author(s):
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Available Water and Nitrogen Effects on Yield Components and Grain Nitrogen of Zero-Till Spring Wheat

  1. C. A. Campbell ,
  2. F Selles,
  3. R. P. Zentner and
  4. B. G. McConkey
  1. Research Branch, Agriculture Canada, Box 1030, Swift Current, Saskatchewan, Canada, S9H 3X2



Straw yield is important in soil conservation and nutrient cycling. Grain N concentration is of economic importance, and variations in yield components can be used to improve our understanding of grain yield response to environmental stimuli. Therefore, quantifying these responses in relation to soil water and N fertility is of considerable importance. A 9-yr study was conducted in southwestern Saskatchewan on a medium textured Aridic Haploboroll using zero-tillage management. We examined the influence of snow trapping and fertilizer management (rate, placement, and time of N application) on hard red spring wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) grown annually. Multiple regression was used with backward elimination to relate straw yield, heads per plant, kernel weight, and grain N concentration to available water use (WU), fall soil NO3−N in 0-0.6 m depth (SN), rate of urea fertilizer N (FN), years of consecutive cropping (Yr) and several interactions among these variables. Significant (P < 0.0001) meaningful relationships were obtained betwen straw yield (R2 = 0.78, P = 0.001), kernel wt (R2 = 0.81, P = 0.001), heads/plant (R2 = 0.36; P = 0.001) and grain N concentration (R2 = 0.56, P = 0.001) and the independent variables. In this semi-arid region, WU was by far the most important factor influencing all characteristics. The effect of SN was often more important than that of FN. Further, the advantage of SN over FN increased with years of cropping, possibly reflecting a gradual increase in the N supplying power of this well-managed soil. Straw yield was related to grain yield. The relationship expressed in kilograms per hectare, was SY = 285 + 0.77 GY + 0.00029 GY2, R2 = 0.85, P = 0.001, n = 1248). Grain N concentration was greater for springthan for fall-applied N in 5 of 9 yr, and deep banding superior to broadcasting in 1 of 9 yr.

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