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Integrating enhanced efficiency fertilizers and nitrogen rates to improve Canada Western Red Spring wheat production in the Canadian prairies

  • Author / Creator
    Fast, Adam
  • Canada Western Red Spring (CWRS) wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) is the most widely grown wheat class in western Canada. This is mainly due to its excellent milling and baking quality, concomitant with a high protein concentration. Adequate nitrogen (N) supply is important to achieve optimal CWRS grain yield and quality. In CWRS production, N is routinely applied as granular urea fertilizer during planting. Consequential N loss can arise when using unprotected urea fertilizer. Enhanced efficiency fertilizers (EEFs) aim to maintain the integrity of applied N by increasing plant nutrient bioavailability while reducing environmental N loss. To determine if the use of EEFs and different N rates can improve upon conventional methods, a CWRS wheat experiment was established in 2019 across four locations in Alberta and two in Saskatchewan, Canada. This experiment consists of two factors: (i) urea type [(urea; urea + urease inhibitor (Agrotain®); urea + nitrification inhibitor (eNtrench®); urea + dual inhibitor (SuperU®); urea + dual inhibitor (NBPT/DMPSA); and slow-release fertilizer (Environmentally Smart Nitrogen® (ESN®))], and (ii) N rate [60; 120; 180; and 240kg N ha-1]. Results indicate urea type affected grain yield in Dark Brown Chernozem soils but not in Black Chernozem & Dark Grey Luvisol soils. In Dark Brown Chernozem soils, a dual inhibitor (SuperU®) increased grain yield by 3.3% relative to urea, while all other EEFs attained similar results. Furthermore, slight increases in net return were observed with the use of a dual (SuperU®) and urease inhibitor (Agrotain®). Grain protein content was not influenced by urea type; however, increasing N rate in both soil groups resulted in quadratic and linear increases in grain yield and protein content, respectively. Application of N fertilizer at a rate of 120 kg N ha-1 was agronomically optimal and provided greatest net return. These results suggest growers who incorporate dual inhibitors in CWRS wheat production can achieve modest increases in grain yield; moreover, the use of other EEFs will not reduce grain yield or protein content relative to conventional urea.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    Spring 2023
  • Type of Item
    Thesis
  • Degree
    Master of Science
  • DOI
    https://doi.org/10.7939/r3-h10y-qb65
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.