Recommended wheat fertilization plan in Kentucky

decrease font size  Resize text   increase font size       Printer-friendly version of this article Printer-friendly version of this article

Record low temperatures with periodic warm days continue to wreak havoc on this year’s wheat crop. Some fields are beginning to show more pronounced damage while other fields have moderate to little damage.

Producers wanting to make a nitrogen application now should consider utilizing a controlled release product. Other forms of nitrogen should be applied once the wheat crop breaks dormancy and begins ‘greening up’. This typically occurs in mid-February in Kentucky. 

If nitrogen is applied too early, prior to ‘green-up’, there are some factors to take into consideration. Nitrogen applied too early in the year can promote excessive vegetative growth. If this early growth is followed by prolonged cold weather, damage can occur that reduces yield. Further, there is a good chance you will not apply the correct amount of nitrogen. Economics also should be considered. Controlled release products typically cost more than “standard” nitrogen forms. Is the additional cost associated with the controlled release product worth it to your operation in order to apply a few weeks earlier?

Based upon research at the University of Kentucky, the most profitable wheat yields are attained when the crop is assessed for health and stand after ‘green-up’. This assessment will allow the most accurate assessment of nitrogen needs for the remainder of the season. Is it healthy? Does it have a good number of tillers? Is there any winter damage? The answers to these questions will tell you how much nitrogen should be applied. More nitrogen should be applied to wheat crops that have damage, few tillers, poor color. Less nitrogen applied to wheat crops that are healthy, with no winter damage and lots of tillers. It is even possible that the crop is so severely damaged that nitrogen application will not be profitable. The key is to assess the status of the crop after ‘green-up’.

Being patient and waiting for ‘green-up’ to apply nitrogen will be difficult. However, waiting for ‘green-up’ will give you a better chance to properly assess your wheat crop and maximize profitability. For more information consult University of Kentucky Extension publication ID-125, A Comprehensive Guide to Wheat Management in Kentucky ( or your local county extension agent.

Buyers Guide

Doyle Equipment Manufacturing Co.
Doyle Equipment Manufacturing prides themselves as being “The King of the Rotary’s” with their Direct Drive Rotary Blend Systems. With numerous setup possibilities and sizes, ranging from a  more...
A.J. Sackett Sons & Company
Sackett Blend Towers feature the H.I.M, High Intensity Mixer, the next generation of blending and coating technology which supports Precision Fertilizer Blending®. Its unique design allows  more...
R&R Manufacturing Inc.
The R&R Minuteman Blend System is the original proven performer. Fast, precise blending with a compact foot print. Significantly lower horsepower requirement. Low inload height with large  more...
Junge Control Inc.
Junge Control Inc. creates state-of-the-art product blending and measuring solutions that allow you to totally maximize operating efficiency with amazing accuracy and repeatability, superior  more...
Yargus Manufacturing
The flagship blending system for the Layco product line is the fully automated Layco DW System™. The advanced technology of the Layco DW (Declining Weight) system results in a blending  more...
Yargus Manufacturing
The LAYCOTE™ Automated Coating System provides a new level of coating accuracy for a stand-alone coating system or for coating (impregnating) in an automated blending system. The unique  more...
John Deere
The DN345 Drawn Dry Spreader can carry more than 12 tons of fertilizer and 17.5 tons of lime. Designed to operate at field speeds up to 20 MPH with full loads and the G4 spreader uniformly  more...
Force Unlimited
The Pro-Force is a multi-purpose spreader with a wider apron and steeper sides. Our Pro-Force has the most aggressive 30” spinner on the market, and is capable of spreading higher rates of  more...
BBI Spreaders
MagnaSpread 2 & MagnaSpread 3 — With BBI’s patented multi-bin technology, these spreaders operate multiple hoppers guided by independent, variable-rate technology. These models are built on  more...

Comments (0) Leave a comment 

e-Mail (required)


characters left

LPV Seed Treater

The LPV Seed Treater has set a new standard boasting three configurable weighing methods for any-sized operation, a standard 42” ... Read More

View all Products in this segment

View All Buyers Guides

Feedback Form
Feedback Form