29 March 2002

N tips for wheat

NITROGEN advice to help growers push new winter wheat variety Xi19 to higher yield and protein contents has been issued by breeder Advanta Seeds.

The key to boosting grain protein is 40kg N/ha as liquid urea applied at the milky ripe stage, it says.

That should follow 40kg N/ha at the start of spring growth, unless the crop is well tillered, a main dose of 50-75% of the total rate around first node and the balance at second to third node.

The advice is based on independent trials conducted last year, which showed 13% protein could be achieved at yields of 10-11.5t/ha on half the sites involved. Total N rates were about 250kg/ha, in line with current milling practice.

The trials suggest the total amount of nitrogen required for Xi19 could be linked to the historical performance of milling varieties on the farm, says the company.

Where 13% protein has been difficult in the past boost total N rate by 30-40kg/ha to lift yield and raise the chance of achieving an added value premium, says Advantas Paul Hickman.

Contrary to some concerns within the industry, Xi19 is no more susceptible to ergot than any other winter wheat, despite having Rialto in its parentage, says Mr Hickman. "It is no more open flowering than other varieties and we have seen no more infestation of Xi19 seed." However, ergot has been more widespread in general, he says. &#42