Mid-row banding of nitrogen in wheat in an irrigated system

2018
CC BY 4.0

Research organisaton
Funding source

Trial details

Researcher(s) Laura Kaylock
Leigh Vial
Year(s) 2018
Contributor Western Murray Land Improvement Group Inc.
Trial location(s) Dhuragoon, NSW
Dhuragoon, NSW
Moulamein, NSW
Mid-row banding of nitrogen in wheat in an irrigated system locations
Aims

The objectives of this project are to quantify the size and efficiency of response to mid-row banded nitrogen in irrigation systems within the southern Riverina of Australia. This will include the assessment of the effect of mid-row banded N on growth, yield and apparent nitrogen recovery efficiency (ANRE), of wheat as compared to the current best-practice method of topdressing at GS31 and the control.

Another key objective of this project is to assess the loss of banded nitrogen during waterlogging events to determine if denitrification losses are reduced in banded nitrogen and compared to topdressed nitrogen and the control.

Key messages

Mid-row banding nitrogen at 133 kgN.ha⁻¹ gave a similar response to topdressing the same rate at GS31. It increased yield by 1.38 t/ha and grain N by 38 kgN.ha⁻¹ to give an ANRE of 30%. Mid-row banded N created a highly-concentrated band of ammonium which appeared to mostly survive a water-logging event.

Mid-row banding N appears to be a valid application method for nitrogen in a southern Riverina irrigated context, allowing all nitrogen requirements to be placed in the soil at sowing. This is applicable where a higher yield potential is known with some confidence, and seeding equipment can handle larger amounts of fertilizer at sowing. Hence, it may also be a useful technique in higher rainfall zones, where yield potential is high and waterlogging is more common.

Dhuragoon NSW 2018

Please see details for Moulamein site.

Dhuragoon NSW 2018

Please see details for Moulamein site.

Moulamein NSW 2018

To investigate the feasibility of mid-row banding under a variety of irrigation systems commonly found in the southern Riverina, three locations were chosen to host trials in 2018:

  1. North Dale: Supplementary irrigated lasered contour, (rice harvested April 2018)
  2. Collinjen: Fully irrigated border-check
  3. Royal Park: Supplementary irrigated lasered contour (rice harvested April 2017)

Within these sites, three nitrogen treatments were tested to compare the nitrogen use efficiency of mid-row banded nitrogen to topdressed nitrogen:

  1. DAP 1% Zn @ 100kg.ha⁻¹ in the seed row (15N)
  2. DAP 1% Zn @ 100 kg.ha⁻¹ in the seed row + 290 kg.ha⁻¹ Urea topdressed at GS31 (150NT)
  3. DAP 1% Zn @ 100 kg.ha⁻¹ in the seed row + 290 kg.ha⁻¹ Urea banded in the mid-row[1] at sowing (150NMRB)

To continue investigating the implications of losses to denitrification on heavy Sodosols within the region, there was also a waterlogging treatment imposed at North Dale:

  • No waterlogging event imposed (‘Dry’)
  • A waterlogging event imposed, by irrigating on August 5th, then draining on August 16th (‘Wet’)

 

A randomized block design was used for site 2 & 3, investigating nitrogen treatments, whilst site 1 used a split plot design to investigate the interaction between waterlogging and nitrogen treatments, with waterlogging treatments in the main plots and nitrogen treatments in the sub-plots. All sites had four replicates with plots measuring 20m long and 8m wide.

To measure the effect on growth and yield, and interaction between waterlogging and nitrogen treatments, the following plant measurements were taken:

  • NDVI, NDRE, CCCI (September 17th)
  • SPAD meter (September 17th)
  • Biomass cuts (September 19th & October 18th)
  • Head number (November 28th)
  • Grain yield, protein & 1000 grain weight (December 10th)

 

The following soil measurements were taken:

  • Soil test pre-sowing (May 7th)
    • Three samples per site at 0-10cm, 10-20cm & 20-60cm (12 sample points per sample)
  • Soil mineral N in the location of the mid-row band pre-waterlogging (July 18th), post-topdressing (September 13th), grain fill (October 23rd) and post-harvest (January 31st)
    • Two sample depths per plot (2-10cm & 10-20cm) and 5 sample points per plot
  • Soil matric potential every 12 hours using the Watermark gypsum block sensors

 

Management

Collinjen was pre-watered about a month before sowing, but neither Royal Park nor North Dale was not pre-watered (North Dale had rice the preceding summer/autumn). Consequently Collinjen suffered less drought effects from the extremely low growing season rainfall. Wheat (var. Mace) was sown using a modified Bettinson disc drill with 25-27cm row spacing on the 15-16th of May at a rate of 80 kg.ha⁻¹ and depth of 3-5cm. Fertiliser (DAP 1% Zn) was treated with 4L/t of Impact for fungal suppression and sown at 100 kg.ha⁻¹. Weed, insect and fungus control was conducted as per the surrounding field.

At North Dale levees were constructed after sowing to exclude water from the ‘dry’ plots during the winter waterlogging event beginning on the 5th of August. One spring irrigation followed this in late September. Collinjen was fully irrigated with two irrigation events in spring. Royal Park received a single irrigation in spring.

Urea topdressing occurred at GS31 for all sites, which occurred from 18-29th of August, 11 days after the waterlogging event at North Dale. At this time, the North Dale site was also assessed for duck damage incurred during water-logging and the variability between plots was quantified.

During grain-fill Russian Wheat Aphid also impacted both the North Dale and Royal Park sites, with Royal Park being treated subsequently. Again, this damage was assessed and noted for consideration when analysing results.

Statistical analysis was conducted using the Statistix software package for analysis of variance (ANOVA). Two-way ANOVA was used to assess the effects of nitrogen treatments and water-logging treatments on wheat yield, N uptake and N in the soil. Significances among the treatments were compared by the least significant difference at P<0.05 level.

 

[1] During sowing, urea (46%N) was banded in the middle of every alternate inter-row (13cm from seed) at a depth of 3-5cm as mid-row fertiliser.

 

Lead research organisation Western Murray Land Improvement Group Inc.
Host research organisation N/A
Trial funding source GRDC 9175353
Related program N/A
Acknowledgments

This trial was made possible through funding from the Grains Research & Development Corporation. 

We would like to acknowledge the support of CeRRF, Deakin for providing their remote sensing services which allowed us to collect and analyse NDVI, NDRE and CCCI images.  


Other trial partners CeRRF, Deakin & Deakin University, Hanwood
Download the trial report to view additional trial information

Method

Crop type Wheat
Treatment type(s)
  • Fertiliser
Trial type Experimental
Trial design Randomised,Replicated,Blocked

Dhuragoon 2018

Sow rate or Target density 80 kg/ha
Sowing machinery

Wheat (var. Mace) was sown using a modified Bettinson disc drill with 25-27cm row spacing

Sow date 15 May 2018
Harvest date 10 December 2018
Plot size 20m x 8m
Plot replication 4
Plot randomisation Not specified
Fertiliser

Please see details for Moulamein site.

Fungicide

Please see details for Moulamein site.

Pesticide

Please see details for Moulamein site.

Tillage Minimum till

Dhuragoon 2018

Sow rate or Target density 80 kg/ha
Sowing machinery

Wheat (var. Mace) was sown using a modified Bettinson disc drill with 25-27cm row spacing

Sow date 15 May 2018
Harvest date 10 December 2018
Plot size 20m x 8m
Plot replication 4
Plot randomisation A randomized block design was used for site 2 & 3, investigating nitrogen treatments, whilst site 1 used a split plot design to investigate the interaction between waterlogging and nitrogen treatments, with waterlogging treatments in the main plots an
Fertiliser

Please see details for Moulamein site.

Fungicide

Please see details for Moulamein site.

Pesticide

Please see details for Moulamein site.

Tillage Minimum till

Moulamein 2018

Sow rate or Target density 80 kg/ha
Sowing machinery

Wheat (var. Mace) was sown using a modified Bettinson disc drill with 25-27cm row spacing

Sow date 15 May 2018
Harvest date 10 December 2018
Plot size 20m x 8m
Plot replication 4
Plot randomisation A randomized block design was used for site 2 & 3, investigating nitrogen treatments, whilst site 1 used a split plot design to investigate the interaction between waterlogging and nitrogen treatments, with waterlogging treatments in the main plots an
Fertiliser

Three nitrogen treatments were tested to compare the nitrogen use efficiency of mid-row banded nitrogen to topdressed nitrogen:

  1. DAP 1% Zn @ 100kg.ha⁻¹ in the seed row (15N)
  2. DAP 1% Zn @ 100 kg.ha⁻¹ in the seed row + 290 kg.ha⁻¹ Urea topdressed at GS31 (150NT)
  3. DAP 1% Zn @ 100 kg.ha⁻¹ in the seed row + 290 kg.ha⁻¹ Urea banded in the mid-row[1] at sowing (150NMRB)
 

[1] During sowing, urea (46%N) was banded in the middle of every alternate inter-row (13cm from seed) at a depth of 3-5cm as mid-row fertiliser.

 

Fungicide

Fertiliser (DAP 1% Zn) was treated with 4L/t of Impact for fungal suppression and sown at 100 kg.ha⁻¹.

Pesticide

Weed, insect and fungus control was conducted as per the surrounding field.

During grain-fill Russian Wheat Aphid also impacted both the North Dale and Royal Park sites, with Royal Park being treated subsequently. Again, this damage was assessed and noted for consideration when analysing results.

Tillage Minimum till
Download the trial report to view additional method/treatment information

Download results

Trial results Crop growth, yield components and yield, for three nitrogen treatments

@T1: (19-09-2018) @T3: (17-09-2018)
# Treatment 1
Protein (%) No of grains per head (g) Apparent nitrogen recovery efficiency (ANRE) (%) 1000 grain weight (g) Grain yield (kg/ha) Head abundance (heads/m2) Biomass (kg/ha) Nitrogen uptake (kg N/ha) NDVI (.) Change in normalised difference red edge (NDRE) (.)
1 Control 8.55b 20.2b 43.1a 3.62b 416b 5054a 52.7b 0.764b 0.4b
1 150 kg N/ha top dressed 10.65a 24.2a 28.3a 39.7a 4.93a 513a 5461a 97.7a 0.839a 0.491a
1 150 kg N/ha mid-row banded 10.7a 26.1a 30.4a 39.9a 5.08a 487ab 5583a 98.1a 0.857a 0.509a
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1000 grain weight g


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Apparent nitrogen recovery efficiency (ANRE) %


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Biomass kg/ha


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Change in normalised difference red edge (NDRE) .


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Grain yield kg/ha


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Head abundance heads/m2


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NDVI .


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Nitrogen uptake kg N/ha


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No of grains per head g


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Protein %


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Trial results The total concentration of N (ppm) for 3 nitrogen treatments and 2 depths of sampling, Collinjen, Moulamein, 2018

@T1: 63DAS (18-07-2018) @T2: 114DAS (07-09-2018) @T3: 160DAS (23-10-2018) @T4: Post-harvest (31-01-2019)
# Treatment 1
Total N, 10-20cm (ppm) Total N, 2-10cm (ppm) Total N, 2-10cm (ppm) Total N, 10-20cm (ppm) Total N, 2-10cm (ppm) Total N, 10-20cm (ppm) Total N, 2-10cm (ppm) Total N, 10-20cm (ppm)
1 Control 2.86 5.02 3.27 4.49 1.1 1.01 4.12 2.18
1 150 kg N/ha top dressed 3.44 4.97 5.35 3.46 1.52 1.1 4.85 1.79
1 150 kg N/ha mid-row banded 5.34 104.6 3.92 3.71 1.95 1.01 8.78 2.87
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Total N, 10-20cm ppm


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Total N, 2-10cm ppm


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Trial results The total concentration of N (ppm) for 3 nitrogen treatments, 2 water-logging treatments and 2 depths of sampling, North Dale, Moulamein, 2018

@T1: 63DAS (16-07-2018) @T2: 114DAS (13-09-2018) @T3: 160DAS (23-10-2018) @T4: Post-harvest (09-01-2019)
# Treatment 1
Treatment 2
Total N, 10-20cm (ppm) Total N, 2-10cm (ppm) Total N, 2-10cm (ppm) Total N, 10-20cm (ppm) Total N, 2-10cm (ppm) Total N, 10-20cm (ppm) Total N, 2-10cm (ppm) Total N, 10-20cm (ppm)
1 Dry Control 4.25 7.99 8.44 1.97 3.95 3.42 3.38 1.98
1 Dry 150 kg N/ha top dressed 3.27 3.86 25.64 8.12 14.5 13.77 8.98 4.02
1 Dry 150 kg N/ha mid-row banded 24.7 308.5 240 5.62 175.8 54.04 54 17.4
1 Wet Control 8.86 2.13 4.45 3.4 4.88 2.83
2 Wet 150 kg N/ha top dressed 20.2 2.58 13.18 10.27 6.38 4.02
2 Wet 150 kg N/ha mid-row banded 146.1 3.59 120.7 24.84 43.6 12
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Total N, 10-20cm ppm


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Total N, 2-10cm ppm


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Observed trial site soil information
Trial site soil testing
Site Depth Type pH EC P K N A OC CAT
Moulamein, NSW 0 - 10cm Clay 5.30 0.60 17.00 280.00 4.00 6.00 1.10
Moulamein, NSW 10 - 20cm Clay 2.00 1.00
Moulamein, NSW 20 - 60cm Clay 1.00 1.00
Soil conditions
Trial site Soil texture
Dhuragoon, NSW Not specified
Dhuragoon, NSW Not specified
Moulamein, NSW Grey clay
Derived trial site soil information
Australian Soil Classification Source: ASRIS
Trial site Soil order
Dhuragoon, NSW Vertosol
Dhuragoon, NSW Vertosol
Moulamein, NSW Vertosol
Soil Moisture Source: BOM/ANU
Average amount of water stored in the soil profile during the year, estimated by the OzWALD model-data fusion system.
Year Dhuragoon NSW Dhuragoon NSW Moulamein NSW
2018 131.4mm131.4mm17.3mm
2017 196.1mm196.1mm20.8mm
2016 141.2mm141.2mm30.3mm
2015 115.3mm115.3mm19.2mm
2014 163.8mm163.8mm12.5mm
2013 230.3mm230.3mm20.2mm
2012 281.4mm281.4mm108.0mm
2011 292.3mm292.3mm180.6mm
2010 287.9mm287.9mm146.5mm
2009 220.8mm220.8mm61.3mm
2008 196.5mm196.5mm44.6mm
2007 193.7mm193.7mm43.9mm
2006 211.3mm211.3mm60.6mm
2005 283.0mm283.0mm140.6mm
2004 253.1mm253.1mm108.6mm
2003 223.9mm223.9mm133.5mm
2002 232.6mm232.6mm199.6mm
2001 327.9mm327.9mm346.7mm
2000 386.4mm386.4mm389.0mm
National soil grid Source: CSIRO/TERN
NOTE: National Soil Grid data is aggregated information for background information on the wider area
Actual soil values can vary significantly in a small area and the trial soil tests are the most relevant data where available

Soil properties

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Climate

Dhuragoon NSW 2018


Observed climate information

Rainfall avg ann (mm) 350mm
Rainfall trial total (mm) 162mm
Rainfall trial gsr (mm) 90mm

Dhuragoon NSW 2018


Observed climate information

Rainfall avg ann (mm) 350mm
Rainfall trial total (mm) 162mm
Rainfall trial gsr (mm) 90mm

Moulamein NSW 2018


Observed climate information

Rainfall avg ann (mm) 350mm
Rainfall trial total (mm) 162mm
Rainfall trial gsr (mm) 90mm

Derived climate information

Dhuragoon NSW

Dhuragoon NSW

Moulamein NSW

Dhuragoon NSW

NOTE: Exact trial site locality unknown - Climate data may not be accurate
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Dhuragoon NSW

NOTE: Exact trial site locality unknown - Climate data may not be accurate
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Moulamein NSW

NOTE: Exact trial site locality unknown - Climate data may not be accurate
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Some data on this site is sourced from the Bureau of Meteorology

SILO weather estimates sourced from https://www.longpaddock.qld.gov.au/silo/
Jeffrey, S.J., Carter, J.O., Moodie, K.B. and Beswick, A.R. (2001). Using spatial interpolation to construct a comprehensive archive of Australian climate data , Environmental Modelling and Software, Vol 16/4, pp 309-330. DOI: 10.1016/S1364-8152(01)00008-1.

Event Date Type Effect
Drought

Two of the three trial sites suffered from moisture stress as a result of below average rainfall during the 2018 growing season. As a result the yield data from these sites was compromised and not used in the final report. However, soil nitrogen was still deemed to provide appropriate data at site one as this is less impacted by seasonal conditions. 

16/5/18 - 10/12/18 Low rainfall 50%


Trial last modified: 08-10-2019 09:58am AEST