The effect of split application of top dressing nitrogen on grain yield and baking quality of four wheat varieties in Zambia
Sichone, Frank Noah
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An experiment was conducted to evaluate the effect of split application of top dressing nitrogen fertiliser on grain yield and baking quality of four wheat varieties. The recommended top dressing fertiliser of 115 kg N/ha normally added at the 3-leaf stage was split in application. It was applied at the 3-leaf stage and at anthesis. The treatments consisted of applying the whole amount at once and 75%, 50% and 25% at the 3-leaf stage and the remainder later at anthesis. The four test varieties were Loerie II, Nkwazi, Pwele and Nkanga. The treatments were replicated four times and arranged in a split plot of a randomised complete block design. The four varieties were assigned main plots with split top dressing nitrogen as subplot treatments. Grain yield, protein content, gluten content, flour yield, flour ash, falling number, test weight, number of heads/m^, 1000-grain weight, harvest index, grain moisture content, days to heading, days to maturity, disease score, lodging score, and plant height were recorded for each plot. Split application of nitrogen resulted in no significant difference in days to maturity, disease score, lodging score, grain yield, test weight, harvest index, gluten content, and grain moisture content. The split top dressing nitrogen fertiliser improved the protein content compared to the control. The results for protein content, however, showed that the application of 25% of nitrogen at the 3-leaf stage and 75% at anthesis gave the highest protein content of 14.1% compared to 13% for the control (applying all the N at once). The total N of 115 kg of N/ha for top dressing application can improve the protein content if it is split in application of 25% of nitrogen at the 3-leaf stage and 75% at anthesis.Nkwazi variety gave the highest protein content (14.6%). On the basis of these results high yields of wheat and protein content can be obtained when top dressing nitrogen is applied in a split of 25% at the 3-leaf stage and 75 % at anthesis. Application of 115 kg of N/ha can increase the protein content in the wheat grain. The application of 25% of nitrogen at the 3-leaf stage and 75% at anthesis gave the largest seed size of 44.3 grams for 1000-grain weight compared to 42.9 grams for the control.
- Agricultural Sciences