Responses of barley and wheat cultivars to applications of fish- solubles and ammonium nitrate

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Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University


An experiment was conducted at the Eastern Virginia Research Station, Warsaw, comparing the effects of fall applications of nitrogen (N), (0, 28, 56 kg/ha) from fish-solubles (FS) and spring applications of N (0, 56 kg/ha) from NH₄NO₃ on yield and components of yield of four cultivars each of barley (Hordeum vulgare) and wheat (Triticum aestivum). Both barley and wheat expressed significant yield responses to FS. The NH₄NO₃ application increased yields in both crops, although the increase in wheat was not statistically significant. Interactions between the barley cultivars and N source or rates were nonexistent; however cultivar yield and thousand kernel weight (Mkw) did express interactions with the nitrogen levels and sources in wheat. Cultivars of both crops displayed significant differences for almost every analyzed trait.

Both crops responded similarly in the effect of N rates and sources on components of yield, with the greatest response being an increase in spikes/61 cm as the N rates increase. In barley, the increasing rates of N caused a slight increase in kernels/spike, while there was very little effect in wheat. In wheat, the spring application of NH₄NO₃ decreased Mkw, but there was no such effect in barley.

Samples of the ten best heads taken from the plots provided useful estimates of kernels/spike in wheat, Mkw in both crops, and of cultivar yield in barley.