Increasing Wheat Protein with a Post Emergent Applications of UAN vs Dissolved Urea

The main focus of this project is to demonstrate the effect of an additional application of N in the late season on wheat yield, and /or grain protein increase compared to application of all recommended N at the seeding stage.

  • Term:  2 year, beginning 2019

  • Funding Amount: $ 172,500

  • Lead Researcher(s): Mike Hall (East Central Research Foundation, Yorkton, SK)

  • Funding Partners: N/A

Project Description

The main focus of this project is to demonstrate the effect of an additional application of N in the late season on wheat yield, and /or grain protein increase compared to application of all recommended N at the seeding stage.

This project builds on the previously funded ADOPT project on increasing wheat protein using post-anthesis UAN application.  Recently producers have been disappointed by low levels of grain protein. Post-emergent application of N fertilizer is one of the options to increase grain protein during the growing season. The results from this practice vary, but it is more likely to be economical when the yield potential is high, and soil N is inadequate to maintain high protein levels. Applying nitrogen as a foliar spray (UAN) is convenient for producers, and seem to be an efficient way to get N into the plant quickly later in the season. However, applying N in this manner comes with a higher risk of leaf burn, and subsequent yield loss, unless diluted.  Foliar sprays with dissolved urea, and dribble banding could be better alternatives.

Thus, to understand better, the impact of nitrogen source, crop staging, and application methods on wheat yield, and protein increase will be estimated. This information will help farmers to decide under what circumstances a post-anthesis application is likely to be profitable, and how to apply safely and efficiently under suitable circumstances, to get higher protein, and/or yield.