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What do you recommend about split nitrogen applications in winter wheat?

Jan 30, 2012

Question: What do you recommend about split nitrogen applications in winter wheat? 

Answer: Split-applied nitrogen is used by most of my clients who target yields of 100 bu. per acre and higher. Split applications minimize risk and push yields higher by allowing the grower to more accurately determine the total nitrogen requirement later in the season. When split applying spring nitrogen, the first application should be timed at or slightly prior to the green-up stage. Base your application rates on tiller densities and plant health. Apply higher rates to later planted, thinner fields and lower rates to early emerging, over-tillered fields. Then, apply the balance of spring nitrogen at about jointing. In some situations, wheat producers will apply between 20 lb. and 30 lb. per acre of late-season nitrogen just prior to flag leaf emergence if yield potential seems higher than initially fertilized for. While it means another pass, you will have added another 5 bu. to 10 bu. per acre. With current prices, that’s worth the trip.
It’s the small incremental changes you make in your management practices that really add up to greater yields at harvest.
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