Karamanos, R. E., Selles, F., James, D. C. and Stevenson, F. C. 2012. Nitrogen management of fallow crops in Canadian prairie soils. Can. J. Plant Sci. 92: 1389-1401. The ability of fallow to supply nitrogen (N) to crops has been questioned, particularly for crops with greater N requirements. A study was conducted to determine canola (Brassica napus L.) and wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) responses to a range of N fertilizer rates (0-75 kg N ha-1 for canola and 0-50 kg N ha-1 for wheat) at 17 fallow sites across Saskatchewan and Alberta, Canada, from 2003 to 2005. Yield and N uptake responses to progressively greater N fertilizer rates were curvilinear for both crops. Maximum yield occurred with 76 kg N ha-1 for canola yield (2190 kg ha-1) and 47 kg N ha-1 for wheat (2910 kg ha-1). Maximum N uptake occurred at about 90 kg N ha-1 for both crops. Wheat grain yield and N uptake responses were mostly associated with normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) at anthesis or flag leaf, whereas canola yields and N uptake were most associated with NDVI at five-leaf or bolting, or Cardy Nitrate meter at bolting. The preceding relationships were most apparent at the highest N fertilizer rates. Canola and wheat water use were not affected by N fertilizer rate, but water use efficiency increased linearly for both crops as N fertilizer rate was increased.
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