LUARS Research 2019 – Results from the Fertilizer Experiments

LUARS Research 2019 – Results from the Fertilizer Experiments


Dr. Tarlok Singh Sahota CCA


1 Cereals:


Nitrogen and Sulphur management for malting barley (Cultivar CDC Bow) production:

  • N from urea and urea + ESN (3:1 on N basis) was compared at 3 rates of N (35, 70 and 105 kg/ha along with a check – zero N) at 3 rates of S (0, 8, and 16 kg S/ha).
  • Grain yield continued to increase with both urea and urea + ESN up to 105 kg/ha (with each increment of N from zero to 105 kg/ha) though the increase with each increment of N was more with urea + ESN than with urea alone.
  • Grain yields from urea and urea + ESN (3:1 on N basis) @ 105 kg N/ha, without S, were 5.38 MT/ha and 6.48 MT/ha, respectively (1.08 MT/ha higher grain yield with urea + ESN than with urea alone).
  • Urea + ESN (3:1 on N basis) @ 105 kg N/ha, without S, produced the highest straw (8.18 MT/ha) and biomass (14.66 Mt/ha) yields.
  • Malting barley didn’t respond to S application; available S at seeding was 9 ppm (= 36 kg/ha). It seems that above average heat during the months of July and August transformed the native soil S to available form.
  • Quality parameters analyzed last year indicated excellent malting quality irrespective of the treatments; grain protein (10.5 % in zero N and 16 kg S/ha to 12.2 % with ESN @ 105 kg N/ha + 8 kg S/ha), plumpness (96.6-98.6 %), Chitted grains (0.5-6.0; least with ESN and more with S), zero wheat, wild oats, green seeds or Ergot and negligible dockage (0.1 in all treatments) and stained seeds (1.5-2.0 %).
  • In 2019, all of the N and S treatments had grain protein contents within limits and it ranged from 9.21 % (urea @ 70 kg N/ha and no S) to 11.62 % (urea + ESN @ 105 kg N/ha + 16 kg S/ha).

Evaluation of Fish Waste (a liquid product) as a Source of N for Spring Wheat (Prosper) Production:

  • Urea + ESN (3:1 on N basis), fish waste and 50:50 N blend of fish waste + (urea + ESN) were compared at 4 rates of N; 0, 40, 80 and 120 kg/ha (applied at seeding).
  • Application of N irrespective of its source or blend increased the grain yield (by 0.77 MT/ha to over 1.10 MT/ha). Grain yield increased up to 80 kg N/ha with urea + ESN and tended to decline thereafter, whereas with fish waste and fish waste + (urea + ESN) it continued to increase up the highest rate of N (120 kg N/ha).
  • Grain yield was in the order of urea + ESN (2.99 MT/ha) ≥ fish waste + (urea + ESN) – 2.80 MT/ha ≥ fish waste (2.46 MT/ha). Straw yield followed the same trend as the grain yield. Low yield was due to late seeding (June 7) and relatively poor fertility in the area in which the trial was conducted.
  • Averaged over sources of N, grain yield continued to increase with each successive rate of N from 0 to 120 kg N/ha.

Winter wheat survival:

  • Effect of agrochemicals spray at tillering and soil applied potassium (recommended rate and double the recommended rate) on winter wheat survival and yield was studied. However, winter wheat survived very well in all treatments and the treatments’ effect on grain and straw yield was non-significant.
  • Grain yield was highest (7.19 MT/ha) with Seaweed extract spray with recommended rate of K2O, followed closely by fungicide + insecticide seed treatment with double the K2O rate without any spray (7.02 MT/ha) and no fungicide + insecticide seed treatment/or agrochemicals spray at double the K2O rate (6.93 MT/ha).
  • Doubling the rate of K2O appeared to lower the grain yield with Headline and Seaweed extract sprays. Averaged over agrochemicals, there was no difference in the grain yield between the two rates of K2O application.
  • Straw yield was the highest (10.66 MT/ha) with double the rate of K2O without any seed treatment/or chemical spray; 1.92 MT/ha higher than that at the recommended rate of K2O without any seed treatment/or chemical spray. This means doubling the rate of K2O didn’t increase the grain yield but improved the straw yield.

Population and NPK fertilizer regimes for Winter Rye: effect was studied on 4 varieties with spring barley (after fall fallow) as check.

  • Grain yield was in the order of Hazlet (4.45 MT/ha) = Brasetto (4.44 MT/ha) ≥ Bono (4.26 MT/ha) ≥ Guttino (4.06 MT/ha). Straw yield followed a similar trend with Brasetto and Hazlet producing the highest straw yield (10 MT/ha in both the varieties).
  • Lowering the seed rate or rate of NPK fertilizers application lowered the grain, straw and Biomass yields. Highest grain yield (6.37 MT/ha) was obtained with 100 % of recommended seed rate/and NPK fertilizers followed closely by 75 % of recommended seed rate and full rate of NPK fertilizers (5.39 MT/ha). Grain yield at recommended seed rate with 50 % of recommended fertilizers rate was 4.93 MT/ha and was only 3.27 MT/ha without fertilizers application.
  • Straw (7.22 MT/ha) and Biomass (13.58 MT/ha) yields were highest with 100 % of recommended seed rate/and fertilizers rate.
  • Spring barley kept as a check treatment yielded 4.37 MT grain and 3.53 MT straw/ha. However, we were late to seed barley because of cold and wet spring.

Residual effect of winter rye cover crop – Different seeding and NPK fertilizer rates on canola:

  • Winter rye cover crop was seeded in the fall 2018 at different seed and NPK fertilizers rates with a check (fallow plot without seeding rye) and its effect was studied on canola in 2019.
  • The canola seed yield was not affected by the cover crop treatments and ranged from 5.13 to 6.41 MT/ha. The seed yield in the fallow (check) plot was 6.25 MT/ha; not less than any of the other treatments.
  • The results indicated that there was no benefit of winter rye cover cropping and the fertilizers applied to it on the seed yield of the following canola crop!
  • Straw yield ranged from 9.90 MT/ha in the fallow to 11.18 MT/ha with 100 % seed rate and 50 % NPK fertilizers to winter rye.
  • Soil analyses data in spring 2019 indicated that winter rye cover crop at any of the seed or fertilizers rates didn’t improve the soil health index, CEC or available nutrients (by and large), including the mineralizable N, organic matter and the biological activity in the soil. However reactive carbon improved up to 5.67 % by the winter rye cover cropping.


2 Grain Legumes and Oil Seeds:


Evaluation of NK21 as a Source of N and K for Soybean (25-10RY) Production:

  • NK21 (a relatively new fertilizer with 21 % N and 21 % K2O) was compared @ 21, 42, 63 and 84 kg/ha N and K2O with urea and MOP (0-0-60) at equal rates of N and K2O along with three checks (No N, No K2O and No N or K2O).
  • Grain yield ranged from 2.50 MT/ha with NK21 @ 42 kg N/ha + 42 kg K2O/ha to 3.27 MT/ha at equal rates of N and K2O from urea and MOP (0-0-60). The two fertilizers at any of the rates of N and K2O didn’t exert a significant influence on the grain yield. In other words, soybeans could be grown without N and K2O application at Thunder Bay.
  • However, NK21 has the advantage of applying two nutrients from one source.

Response of canola (L241C) to high rates of N application from different sources:

  • Application of N @ 90, 180, 240 and 360 kg/ha from urea, urea + ESN (2:1 ratio on N basis), urea superU and urea superU + ESN (2:1 ratio on N basis) significantly improved the canola seed yield Maximum seed yield response at the lowest level of N (90 kg/ha) was obtained with urea (1.62 MT/ha) and the least with urea superU + ESN (0.46 MT/ha).
  • Application of 360 kg N/ha (2/3rd as urea and 1/3rd as ESN) resulted in maximum seed (6.16 MT/ha), straw (9.17 MT/ha), and biomass (15.33 MT/ha) yields. The other two treatments that statistically equaled this treatment in seed, straw and biomass yields were urea superU @ 360 kg N/ha and urea superU + ESN (2:1 ratio on N basis) @ 180 kg N/ha; the latter treatment indicated 50 % saving of N (= 180 kg N/ha).
  • Averaged over sources of N, seed yield increased almost linearly up to 180 kg N/ha (5.49 MT/ha) and tended to decline/or level off thereafter at the higher rates of N (240 and 360 kg N/ha).
  • Averaged over N rates, different N sources/or their combinations didn’t exhibit any significant difference in seed yield; though urea + ESN appeared to give the highest (5.54 MT/ha) and urea superU + ESN the lowest seed yield (4.94 MT/ha).
  • But for the heat and moisture stress at times during July-August seed yields could be better!

Evaluation of Ammonium Sulphate and Gypsum as Sources of Sulphur (S) for Canola Production:

  • Ammonium sulphate and Gypsum were compared at 5 rates of S application; 0, 12, 24, 36 and 48 kg/ha.
  • Maximum seed yield (6.01 MT/ha) was recorded with ammonium sulphate @ 36 kg/ha, which was 1.68 MT/ha higher than the check (No S application) and 1.07 MT/ha higher than Gypsum at the same rate of S.
  • Straw yield seemed to be a bit higher with ammonium sulphate @ 48 kg/ha (6.74 MT/ha) than that @ 36 kg/ha (6.49 MT/ha).
  • Averaged over rates of S application, Gypsum and ammonium sulphate didn’t differ in seed or straw yield.
  • Averaged over 2017 to 2019, highest seed yield was obtained with 36 kg S/ha and the highest straw yield was recorded with 48 kg S/ha; irrespective of S source. Gypsum and ammonium sulphate didn’t vary significantly with each other in seed/or straw yield.

Evaluation of Gypsum and Ammonium Sulphate as sources of S for Barley, Canola and Pea Production (Gypsum was applied @ 19.5 kg S/ha in the seed row and ammonium sulphate at the same rate of S was broadcast incorporated at seeding!):

  • Seed (4.61 MT/ha) and straw (6.46 MT/ha) yields from canola were better than the grain (3.69 MT/ha) and straw (2.44 MT/ha) yields from barley. There was hardly any pod formation in peas due to excessive heat in July-August and the straw/or biomass production by peas was 1.77 MT/ha.
  • There was hardly any response to S either as ammonium sulphate or as Gypsum; may be because of low yields (late seeding on May 31?).
  • Residual effect of crops grown and Gypsum and ammonium sulphate applied in 2018 was studied on the spring wheat in 2019 (no S was applied). Wheat grain yield seemed to be higher when grown after canola (3.66 MT/ha) than after barley (3.17 MT/ha) or pea (3.32 MT/ha). Ammonium sulphate (3.54 MT/ha) appeared to be a bit better than Gypsum (3.21) in wheat grain yield. However, the effects of the crops and the sources of S on grain yield were not significant; maybe because of late seeding (June 10).
  • Soil analysis in spring 2019 indicated that the organic matter, P, K, Ca, CEC, were in the order of canola > pea > barley. Whereas, nitrate N, pH, S, Zn, Cu, B, and soluble salts seemed to be unaffected by the previous crops.
  • Soil Health Index was a little bit higher after canola (30) than after barley (29) or peas (28).

Effect of nitrogen and sulphur on lentils grain yield:

  • Treatments included all combinations of 3 rates of N (0, 22.5 and 45 kg N/ha) and 4 rates of S (0. 8, 16 and 24 kg S/ha).
  • Application of N or S didn’t help in increasing lentils grain yield and the maximum grain yield (3.48 MT/ha) was obtained without application of N and S. The pre seeding soil analysis indicated unbelievably high amounts of ammoniacal N (35 ppm) and S (58 ppm).

Effect of P and K on lentils grain yield:

  • Treatments included all combinations of 3 rates of P2O5 and 3 rates of K2O each @ 0, 20 and 40 kg/ha).
  • Application of P or K had no significant effect on lentils grain yield. In other words, lentils didn’t respond to application of P and K; may be because of low yield (up to 2.60 MT/ha) due to late seeding (May 30, 2019).
  • From the two nutrient management experiments on lentils, it appears that the lentils can be grown without application on N, P, K and S!


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