Under growing conditions in the UK it is widely accepted that light limitation of wheat yields is ultimately more common than water limitation, whilst water limitation can become an issue as yields increase. This is true regardless of the scenario facing crops having high yield potential or low yield potential [in the Spring] needing to build this potential by increasing viable shoot numbers before stem extension [at which point focus will turn to grain number per ear and grain fill].
Consequently many growers will be thinking about an early application of Nitrogen (N) in an attempt to encourage shoot numbers before stem extension begins in mid-April, which will generally mean an application of between 40 – 70kg N/ha. However, before the fertiliser spreaders come out of the shed we should consider the situation and impact of applying nitrogen which in most cases will mean the application of Ammonium Nitrate to crops without first addressing the issue of plant form and nutrient deficiency to best utilise this expensive input.
- Is more susceptible to leaching, which isn’t ideal when plant root systems are under developed (especially this year!), leading to environmental issues and loss of money, &;
- If taken up will not give the desired rooting effect to improve shoot number, but instead more leafy top growth at the expense of shoot number and poor root habit, plus;
- The ‘nitrate-N’ taken up will demand more carbon (energy) reserves to convert it back to ammonium-N before processing into proteins when compared to ‘Amine-N’ at a point when plants need to be putting more energy into building a robust root and shoot structure!
So, before racing to the shed to get the fertiliser spreader out consider the use of ‘Elona’ to supply a form of N to encourage robust plant growth that will be taken up more efficiently, be less wasteful and also supplies the essential micro and macronutrients to ensure robust plant form early season and prepare crops for the ensuing application of N from the bag.
Elona may be applied to crops at 1.5 – 3l/ha as soon as is necessary in the spring, with repeat applications as required. Elona is very robust in the spray tank having been tested for a number of seasons in the field alongside spring applied herbicides and fungicides, for a full compatibility list please contact your Levity Crop Science technical contact.