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This article in AJ

  1. Vol. 85 No. 2, p. 226-231
     
    Received: Mar 4, 1992
    Published: Mar, 1993


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doi:10.2134/agronj1993.00021962008500020012x

Yield and Yield Component Response of Spring Barley to Fertilizer Nitrogen

  1. Patrick Bulman and
  2. Donald L. Smith 
  1. Dep. of Plant Science, Macdonald Campus of McGill Univ., 21,111 Lakeshore Road, Ste. Anne de Bellevue, QC. Canada H9X 1C0

Abstract

Abstract

Barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) is an important cereal crop in eastern Canada, where it is used mainly as a source of energy for monogastric animals. A 4-yr field experiment was conducted to evaluate the effects of N application on the yield of spring barley. Three cultivars, Cadette, Leger (adapted feed types), and Argyle (unadapted malting type) were grown with 0, 50, 100, 150, or 200 kg N ha−1 applied as ammonium nitrate at seeding. Two other treatments consisted of 100 kg N ha−1 at seeding plus 50 kg N ha−1 as ammonium nitrate (broadcast) or urea (foliar spray) applied at Zadoks growth stage 50 (spike emergence). Grain yield generally did not respond to N treatments. Separate determination of main stem (MS) and tiller yield components revealed that the lack of response to progressively higher rates of N was due to the stable nature of MS yield components and to the relatively small contribution of tillers to grain yield. Very high levels of N occasionally reduced the grain set and yield of MS spikes. Mean weight per MS grain showed little variation among growing seasons and N treatments. High rates and split applications of N had few significant effects on tiller yield and yield components. Tiller spike densities were consistently low (81–147 spikes per square meter). Tiller spikes produced only 7 to 15 grains, with individual grains weighing 60 to 75% of the weight of MS grains. Previous cropping practices and environmental conditions seemed to affect spike development and grain-set more than application of fertilizer N.

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