Managing nitrogen to promote quality and profitability of North Dakota two-row malting barley
  • 02/16/2024

Managing nitrogen to promote quality and profitability of North Dakota two-row malting barley

Article published in Agronomy Journal | 2024; 1-8 | https://doi.org/10.1002/agj2.21538
Authors: Brady Goettl, Thomas DeSutter, Honggang Bu, Abbey Wick, David Franzen

Abstract

As the demand and cultivation of two-row malting barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) increases in the Northern Great Plains, updated nitrogen (N) recommendations are increasingly necessary. Not only does N play a role in grain yield, but it also impacts grain malting characteristics, including protein and kernel plump. To determine the impacts N rate and availability have on two-row malting barley, two experimental sites were established in eastern North Dakota during the 2020 and 2021 growing seasons. Treatments consisted of five fertilizer rates from 0 to 180 kg N ha−1 and two malting barley cultivars. Soil samples to be analyzed for nitrate-N were taken prior to planting and N credit estimates from the previous crop were considered to determine the total known available nitrogen (TKAN) in the soil. It was determined there was a strong relationship between N rate and grain yield along with a strong positive correlation between N rate and grain protein. No significant interactions between N rate and kernel plump were noted. When the relationship between relative grain yield and TKAN was modeled using a best-fit regression, maximum yield was attained at 210 kg TKAN ha−1 with a grain protein of 128 g kg−1, meeting malting quality requirements. When factoring in grain value and cost of urea fertilizer, the TKAN range needed to produce the crop at the highest profitability was lower than TKAN of maximum yield, ranging from 89 to 190 kg TKAN ha−1.