Optimizing Nitrogen Application Timing in No-Till Soft Red Winter Wheat
- Randall Weisza,
- Carl R. Crozier *b and
- Ronnie W. Heinigerb
As no-till acreage increases, N management guidelines need re-examination due to the potential effects of surface residue on N transformations and crop development. Our objectives were to determine: (i) if N applied at Zadok's Growth Stage (GS) 25 improves grain yield of no-till winter wheat (Triticum aestivum L.), (ii) if any yield increase was the result of increased spring tillering, and (iii) if there is a critical tiller density above which N application at GS-25 in no-till wheat was not required. Research was conducted at three sites in North Carolina with seven site-years between fall 1996 and spring 1999. A continuum of GS-25 tiller densities was generated (161-1774 tillers m−2) by planting at different seeding rates and dates in a randomized complete block design. Five N treatments were applied at GS-25, and three were applied at GS-30. Tillering response to early spring N, yield, and yield components were measured. increasing early spring N rates resulted in higher tiller densities at GS-30, and GS-25 tiller density was a significant covariate. With GS-25 tiller densities >550 tillers m−2, yields were higher when all N was applied at GS-30. In years without spring freezes, wheat with <550 tillers m−2 achieved optimum yields when spring N was applied at GS-25. Manipulating the timing of spring N application can optimize early spring tillering and yield component formation.Please view the pdf by using the Full Text (PDF) link under 'View' to the left.
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