Nitrogen Use Efficiency – Plant population x nitrogen interaction trial (Peechelba East)


Research organisaton
Funding source
Field Applied Research (FAR) Australia

Trial details

Researcher(s) Damian Jones
Ben Morris
Nick Poole
Tom Price
Michael Straight
Year(s) 2019
Contributor Field Applied Research (FAR) Australia
Trial location(s) Peechelba East, VIC
Nitrogen Use Efficiency – Plant population x nitrogen interaction trial (Peechelba East) locations

To evaluate the influence of plant population on nitrogen use efficiency (NUE), dry matter production, grain yield and harvest index in grain maize.

Key messages
  • The average grain yield (header harvest) of the trial was 17.12t/ha with no indication that increased nitrogen rate (from the use of pre-drill urea) significantly increased yield when 207kg N/ha was subsequently applied in crop as fertigation.
  • The lowest plant population 79,287 plants/ha resulted in the lowest yields with no grain yield difference between 91,864 and 103,620 plants/ha. 91,864 plants/ha was the most profitable.
  • Normalised differential vegetative index (NDVI) assessments indicated that ground cover was significantly lower in the lowest plant population across all assessment timings up to V8.
  • The most efficient recovery of nitrogen applied was recorded with plant populations of approximately 92,000 plants/ha with N applied by fertigation totalling 207 kg N/ha.
Lead research organisation Field Applied Research (FAR) Australia
Host research organisation Field Applied Research (FAR) Australia
Trial funding source GRDC FAR1906-003RTX
Related program N/A
Acknowledgments N/A
Other trial partners Irrigated Cropping Council
Download the trial report to view additional trial information


Crop type Maize
Treatment type(s)
  • Fertiliser: Rate
  • Sowing: Rate
Trial type Experimental
Trial design Randomised,Replicated,Blocked

Peechelba East 2019

Sow rate or Target density 79287 plants/ha, 91864 plants/ha and 103620 plants/ha
Sow date 13 November 2019
Harvest date 31 May 2020
Plot size Not specified
Plot replication Not specified

Please see Table 1 on page one of the attached report.

0 kg/ha vs 90 kg/ha vs 180 kg/ha pre-sow.

Post sowing nitrogen (207 N) was applied via fertigation with applications at V4 (46N), V8 (60N), pre-tasselling (101 N) on 10 Dec, 26 Dec, 14 Jan and 15 Jan across ALL treatments. Therefore, total N rates in this trial were 207, 297 and 387 kg N/ha.
Available soil N assessed prior to sowing 33 kg N/ha (0-60cm)

Download the trial report to view additional method/treatment information
Trial source data and summary not available
Check the trial report PDF for trial results.
Observed trial site soil information
Trial site soil testing
Not specified
Soil conditions
Trial site Soil texture
Peechelba East, VIC Loam
Derived trial site soil information
Australian Soil Classification Source: ASRIS
Trial site Soil order
Peechelba East, VIC Chromosol
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 Peechelba East VIC
2019 279.5mm
2018 310.8mm
2017 321.5mm
2016 380.7mm
2015 365.4mm
2014 351.5mm
2013 345.6mm
2012 353.0mm
2011 356.7mm
2010 340.4mm
2009 270.4mm
2008 295.0mm
2007 295.3mm
2006 312.1mm
2005 358.2mm
2004 334.1mm
2003 300.1mm
2002 317.6mm
2001 395.7mm
2000 389.8mm
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



Derived climate information

No observed climate data available for this trial.
Derived climate data is determined from trial site location and national weather sources.

Peechelba East VIC


Some data on this site is sourced from the Bureau of Meteorology

SILO weather estimates sourced from
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.

Trial report and links

2019 trial report

Trial last modified: 17-03-2022 09:58am AEST