Soil Fertility

Last updated on February 23, 2014

Fertilizing for High Wheat Yields

First step - soil test

Build levels of P and K to the medium-high to high levels

Once medium high to high levels of P and K are attained, growers add MAINTENANCE amounts.

A maintenance amount is the estimated amount that a crop will remove

If both grain and straw are harvested, plants will remove about 0.8 lb of P2O5 and 1.9 lb of K2O per bushel of grain

If only grain is harvested, about 0.6 lb of P2O5 and .4 lb of K2O are removed per bushel of grain yield

In Wisconsin, ICM wheat growers are commonly adding 80 to 100 lbs N/a to wheat

When large amounts of N are used, applications should be split

Winter wheat N applications: 1/3 in fall (pre plant) 1/3 applied during spring greenup 1/3 applied during early stem elongation

How much N should be applied?

  • Recommendations vary according to YIELD GOAL, % OM, and SEASONAL EFFECTS (Amount of rainfall, etc)
  • Spring wheat N applications: 1/2 pre-plant,1/2 early stem elongation (Zadoks 31)

Split applications of N have several advantages

  • Avoid excess N during vegetative growth
  • Adequate N available throughout growth cycle
  • Flexibility

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