- Author: Konrad Mathesius
Although much of this year's wheat has been planted, the cost of fertilizer and an unpredictable rainy season mean it's never a bad time to learn more about how to improve nitrogen management in small grains.
Join us for nitrogen management seminars being offered in the northern San Joaquin and the southern Sacramento Valleys. The seminars will cover a range of topics related to the use of the Nitrogen Fertilizer Management Tool for California Wheat. Lunch will be provided.
Over the years UC agronomists have had considerable success using the Webtool and working with growers to
As the fall planting season begins, we'd like to share recently developed case studies detailing N management actions and crop productivity outcomes in several small grain fields during the 2019-20 growing season. Growers from different parts of the state worked with UC Cooperative Extension to implement N-rich reference zones in their fields. The N-rich reference zone is a relatively small area within a field where extra N fertilizer is added at the beginning of the season. This extra fertilizer ensures that the reference zone is not N-limited between planting and the time when an in-season fertilizer decision is made. When a grower is...
- Author: Michelle Leinfelder-Miles
- Author: Nick Clark
- Author: Sarah Light
- Author: Konrad Mathesius
This is our second in a series of blog posts on improving nitrogen (N) use efficiency in California small grains. This post focuses on the use of N-rich reference zones to assess in-season N status and make management decisions based on crop need. Our goal is to help growers and consultants learn how to use N-rich zones to improve small grain N fertilizer use efficiency and reduce negative environmental outcomes. To demonstrate what we know about this practice across the small grain growing regions of the state, our team has helped growers establish N-rich zones in their fields across a wide range of soil and climatic conditions. These demonstration sites are in the Sacramento Valley, Delta Region, San Joaquin Valley, and the...
Measuring soil nitrogen (N) prior to fertilizing can improve N fertilizer management. The soil nitrate quick test is a simple and low-cost test. It provides a ballpark estimate of the soil nitrate-N concentration in the rootzone. Nitrate is a highly plant-available form of nitrogen. Using the soil nitrate quick test when N fertilizer decisions are being made will help define a range of fertilizer rates appropriate for that field. This can provide several benefits. These include improved N use efficiency, lower input costs, improved grain yield or grain protein, and reduced N loss to the air or below the crop rootzone.
- Author: Mark Lundy
After almost 6 weeks without a substantial rainstorm, there is finally some precipitation starting to appear in the 10-day forecast for the Sacramento Valley. The lack of rain thus far has made it difficult to proceed with N fertilizer topdress applications in non-irrigated wheat fields this season. In addition, the warmer than normal temperatures have increased the rate of crop development such that many fall planted wheat crops are further along than would normally be the case at this time of year. Figures 1 and 2 below represent the cumulative rainfall since 10/1/2017 and the cumulative growing degree days (GDD) for wheat since 11/21/17, when we planted our experimental trials in Davis (each is compared to a 10-year...