Fertilizer research

, Volume 12, Issue 2, pp 119–137 | Cite as

Response of winter wheat to N-fertiliser: Quantitative relations for components of growth

  • D. J. Greenwood
  • L. M. J. Verstraeten
  • Ann Draycott


Measurements were made of yield of dry matter, plant-N content, and the distribution of mineral-N down the soil profile in 10 fertiliser-N experiments. In one of them detailed measurements were made throughout growth. Rate of N-uptake by the crop was unaffected by the amount of mineral-N in the upper 90 cm of soil when it was above about 30 kg N ha−1. The %N in plants that received ample N-fertiliser declined with increase in plant mass according to a previously derived equation. During senescence there was an apparent loss of N from the crop.

N-nutrition in the different experiments had little effect on the partition of assimilate between grain and straw. At harvest grain and straw weights were well related by a linear model which had the same gradient but different intercepts for each experiment. Grain %N was about four times greater than straw %N. Regression analysis supported the view that high evaporative conditions or temperatures during the growing period induced earlier harvest dates, less grain relative to straw, and a higher %N in the plant when ample N-fertiliser was applied but not when N-fertiliser was withheld.

Other analyses indicated that cereal roots were generally unable to extract mineral nitrogen from the soil when the concentration was less than about 0.18 kg N ha−1 cm−1, that at low levels of N-nutrition the recovery of available inorganic-N from soil by the grain and straw was about 80%, and that the average mineralisation rates from early spring to shortly after harvest date varied between 0.22 and 0.88 kg N ha−1 d−1 from site to site.

Key words

fertiliser nitrogen regression response winter wheat 


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Copyright information

© Martinus Nijhoff Publishers 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • D. J. Greenwood
    • 1
  • L. M. J. Verstraeten
    • 2
  • Ann Draycott
    • 1
  1. 1.National Vegetable Research StationWellesbourne, WarwickUK
  2. 2.Laboratory of Soil Fertility and BiologyCatholic University of LeuvenLeuvenBelgium

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