Thursday, January 26, 2012

Wheat Ahead of Schedule Changes N Plans

Lloyd Murdock, Extension Soils Management, University of Kentucky

The winter has been mild and the wheat has continued to grow and for the fields that were planted a bit early there is more than normal growth. Some of these fields are showing some N deficiency but the plants have enough tillers. So some of the questions are: Do I need to apply N a bit early to take care of the yellowing beginning to show?

One does not want to apply N early on these fields and cause them to accelerate their development. This would increase the changes of freeze damage down the road. I think early N would be a mistake under almost any conditions this season. We still have plenty of time to develop some tillers if they are needed. Generally, wheat in these fields have plenty of tillers and plants were a little N deficient. This is right where the crop should be to slow down the development a bit and protect it from some of the very cold temperatures that might be yet to come. At normal green up I would recommend a minimum N to protect the wheat crop from any accelerated development beyond the normal time and put most of the N on at Feekes 6. This recommendation would be especially needed for no-till wheat.

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