Stabilising Amine Urea in Nitrogen Fertiliser Increases Leaf Chlorophyll Content, Tiller Base Diameter and Root Length of Wheat Plants

Proceedings Crop Production in Northern Britain 2020
26 February 2020


Marks, D.J., Weston, A.K., & Wilkinson, S.
Levity Crop Science Ltd., The Rural Business Centre, Myerscough College, Bilsborrow PR3 0RY, UK


Fertilisation of field crop plants with urea nitrogen is very inefficient because over half of this is degraded via hydrolysis and nitrification, releasing greenhouse gases and leaching nitrate into water systems. Technologies for stabilising urea N in fertiliser, and prolonging its availability for plants, have been developed. Here we investigate whether chemically stabilising urea amine N (in a product called ‘Elona’) in foliar fertiliser applied to pot-grown wheat, induces favourable physiological effects, compared to those of industry standard nitrogen fertilisers. All treatments contain identical amounts of nitrogen by weight, equivalent to a rate of 2.5 L/ha stabilised amine nitrogen (SAN) in 100L, and were applied every 3-4 weeks in March-June 2018, in a greenhouse in Preston, Lancashire, UK. The chlorophyll content of wheat leaves was significantly increased by SAN nutrition 3 and 10 days after the first treatment, initially at 4-5 tiller stage; and tillers were more upright. At 14-15 tiller stage tiller bases had an increased diameter. This gave rise to a higher tiller diameter-canopy height ratio. Three weeks later roots of SAN-treated plants were significantly longer, which gave rise to a larger root length-canopy height ratio. We discuss how these attributes relate to specific effects of ureic amine N on plant phenotype, and how they may affect yields in the longer term. We argue that genetic screening for high yield-linked phenotypic traits may be more effective when wheat is fertilised with stabilised urea.


Nitrogen, Yield, Photosynthesis, Wheat

Main Subjects

Wheat, Plant Nutrition

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