Nitrogen Management in Wheat – Promoting Main Stems or Tillers? (2003)

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Central Agricultural Research Center


This report investigates plant population, row spacing, and split-application of nitrogen affecting growth, development, and yield and yield components of main stems and tillers of wheat. This experiment was to determine if agronomic strategies that promote head-bearing main stems are superior to those that promote tillers in improving wheat yield. A field experiment was conducted in the spring of 2003. The experiment was carried out at the Central Agricultural Research Center of Montana State University, Moccasin, MT. McNeal spring wheat was planted in a tilled re-cropped field after yellow mustard as a split-split-plot design. Row spacing and fertilizer split application did not affect the total number of tillers per plant, but plant density significantly affected the total tiller numbers per plant. Row space did not affect the grain yield, but fertilizer application and plant density had significant effects on grain yield. In summery, row space, fertilizer split application, and plant density have shown different degrees of effect on tiller and main stem development and senescence, and consequently on grain yield. Understanding the growth and development of main stems and tillers as well as limiting factors will help growers in Montana to choose the best management strategy to increase spring wheat yield and reduce the adverse impact of environment factors and management practices.



Agronomy, Plant sciences


Chen, C., Fox, L., Neill, K., Vavrovsky, J., Wichman, D. 2003. Nitrogen Management in Wheat - Promoting Main Stems or Tillers? Moccasin, Mt.: Central Agricultural Research Center.
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