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4022. Mahler, R.L.. 1990. Nitrogen database project - final report.. unpublished report for Dryland Cereal/Legume LISA project.
This project had two components: 1) development of a comprehensive database on winter wheat response to nitrogen fertilizer rates; 2) evaluation of the potential of peas, alfalfa, and wheat straw as nitrogen sources for a following wheat crop in rotation. The database study examined winter wheat yield response to 41 nitrogen rates. When soil test N + mineralizable N + fertilizer N ranged from 101 to 175 kg/ha, a requirement of 2.75 lb N per bushel of wheat was calculated. This agrees with the figure calculated by Leggett in the 1950's, indicating that modern varieties have not changed in their basic nitrogen requirement, when nitrogen fertilizer efficiency is assumed to be 50%. At total available N rates greater than 175 kg/ha, the N requirement per bushel of wheat increased dramatically. Low rates did not show a large increase in efficiency on a per bushel basis. At Moscow, N fertilizer application rates less than 95 kg/ha resulted in greater than 50% N use efficiency. Efficiency declined rapidly at rates above this. The green manure study compared alfalfa, pea, and green wheat straw residues applied at 1, 2, and 3 mt/ha. In general, higher rates of pea and alfalfa resulted in higher wheat yields. The highest yields were with the high rate of pea residue. It was more effective than alfalfa residue, probably due to faster decomposition. Alfalfa provided more N per ton of residue (31 kg/mt) than the peas (29 kg/mt), while straw added 19 kg/mt.
8744. Mahler, R.L.. 1990. personal communication. Dept. Plant, Soil, Ent. Sci., Univ. Idaho, Moscow, ID 83843.
The theoretical need of wheat grain is 1.35 lb N/bu. In the 18-26" rainfall zone, it typically takes about 2.7 lb N/bu, a fertilizer use efficiency (FUE) of 50%. In the <16" rainfall zone, the actual need is about 2.2 lb N/ac. There is no soil test correlation work for eastern WA dryland areas. Low yield sites should probably get 25% of the fertilizer that the high yield sites get. Anhydrous ammonia will probably disappear from the market as a fertilizer N source, leaving urea as the primary source. Much current work uses urea. There is no difference in wheat yield due to fertilizer form or placement. Deep placement is not necessary in the higher rainfall areas. Slow release fertilizers will become more prevalent. They are more expensive, but can raise FUE to 70%. There is currently an economic penalty on legumes, especially lentils (due to high price), due to low soil pH. There is some lime response on wheat at pH <5.1, probably due to disease and weed effects, and not to toxicity or nutrient problems. Liming materials are available from Addy, WA (MgO material) and the Nez Perce tribe (lime deposit). Tim Murray has data on the effect of low pH on wheat diseases. Current research at UI includes plots on a forest and prairie soil catena, examining optimum fertilization at different landscape positions.