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Nutrient Cycling in Agroecosystems

, Volume 47, Issue 2, pp 173–180 | Cite as

The value of nitrogen applied to wheat during early development

  • R. Sylvester-Bradley
  • D. B. Davies
  • C. Dyer
  • C. Rahn
  • P. A. Johnson
Article

Abstract

Forty eight field trials were conducted at sites representing the major arable areas of the UK to test the effectiveness of nitrogen applied during early growth. A family of linear + exponential curves of constant shape fitted to data from all the trials accounted for 94% of the variation in grain yield. This approach identified soil nitrogen supply as the largest source of variation in the optimum requirement for fertiliser nitrogen. Changes in optimum amounts of fertiliser N indicated that N applied at sowing was about half as effective as N applied in spring. Where some of the spring N was applied in February, the mean response to N applied at sowing was −0.02t/ha of grain. Although some sites responded economically to N applied at sowing, varietal type and delayed spring N application were the only factors identified as possible predictors in practice. Grain yields with optimum N varied between 6.1 to 11.5 t/ha but this wide range failed to account for variation in optimum amount of spring applied N for individual sites. However, about one third of the variation in optimum N was accounted for by a knowledge of soil type, drilling date, winter rain and amount of seedbed N.

Key words

nitrogen response nitrogen timing optimum nitrogen level regression model seedbed nitrogen winter wheat 

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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. Sylvester-Bradley
    • 1
  • D. B. Davies
    • 1
  • C. Dyer
    • 2
    • 1
  • C. Rahn
    • 3
    • 1
  • P. A. Johnson
    • 1
  1. 1.ADAS Arable Research Centre BoxworthCambridgeUK
  2. 2.Statistics DepartmentRothamsted Experimental StationHarpendenEngland
  3. 3.Horticultural Research InternationalWarwickUK

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