The Journal of Agricultural Science

Research Article

Spring top-dressings of ‘Nitro-Chalk’ and late sprays of a liquid N-fertilizer and a broad spectrum fungicide for consecutive crops of winter wheat at Saxmundham, Suffolk

A. Pennya1, F. V. Widdowsona1 and J. F. Jenkyna1

a1 Rothamsted Experimental Station, Harpenden, Herts


An experiment at Saxmundham, Suffolk, during 1974–6, tested late sprays of a liquid N-fertilizer (ammonium nitrate/urea) supplying 50 kg N/ha, and a broad spectrum fungicide (benomyl and maneb with mancozeb) on winter wheat given, 0, 50, 100 or 150 kg N/ha as ‘Nitro-Chalk’ (ammonium nitrate/calcium carbonate) in spring

Mildew (Erysiphe graminisf. sp. tritici) was most severe in 1974. It was increased by N and decreased by the fungicide in both 1974 and 1975, but was negligible in 1976. Septoria (S. nodorum) was very slight in 1974 and none was observed in 1976. It was much more severe in 1975, but was unaffected by the fungicide perhaps because this was applied too late.

Yield and N content, number of ears and leaf area index were determined during summer on samples taken from all plots given 100 or 150 kg N/ha in spring; each was larger with 150 than with 100 kg N/ha. The effects of the liquid N-fertilizer on yield and N content varied, but leaf area index was consistently increased. None was affected consistently by the fungicide.

Yields, percentages of N in, and amounts of N removed by grain and straw were greatly and consistently increased by each increment of ‘Nitro-Chalk’. Yields of grain were increased (average, 9%) by the liquid fertilizer in 1974 and 1975, and most where most ‘Nitro-Chalk’ had been given, but not in 1976 when the wheat ripened in July; however, both the percentage of N in and the amount of N removed by the grain were increased by the liquid fertilizer each year. The fungicide increased the response to the liquid N-fertilizer in 1974, but not in 1975 when Septoria was not controlled, nor in 1976 when leaf diseases were virtually absent.

The weight of 1000 grains was increased by each increment of ‘Nitro-Chalk’ in 1975 but only by the first one (50 kg N/ha) in 1974 and 1976; it was very slightly increased by the liquid fertilizer and by fungicide each year.

(Received October 20 1977)