Cereal Grain Nutrient Management

Nutrient Management In Cereal Grain Crops

Nutrient management is important for wheat production before planting and in late winter. Soil pH, phosphorus, potassium, calcium, and magnesium need to be adequate before planting. A common problem with direct seed or no-till wheat production is low soil pH in the top 2-3 inches of soil. Stratified soil samples should be taken before direct seeding.  Nitrogen typically is the nutrient most limiting to wheat production. The amount of spring N to apply can be determined from a soil test when a sample is collected in late January. If consecutive crops of wheat are planted, soil pH, phosphorus, chloride, and nitrogen source changes substantially from first year wheat.

Compared to winter wheat, less nitrogen is required for barley, oats or spring wheat compared to winter wheat. For barley, use approximately 80% of the winter wheat nitrogen rate. For oats use approximately 60% of the winter wheat rate and for spring wheat, apply between 50 and 60 % of the winter wheat nitrogen rate.


Click on the following links to view related OSU Extension Publications:

 Applying Lime to Raise Soil pH for Crop Production (Western Oregon), EM 9057

Soil Acidity in Oregon: Understanding and Using Concepts for Crop Production, EM 9061

Nutrient Management Guide: Soft White Winter Wheat

Nitrogen Mineralization Soil Test for Winter Wheat

Evaluating Soil Nutrients and pH by depth in Situations of Limited or No Tillage

Combating Take-All of Winter Wheat in Western Oregon

Growing Winter Wheat on Poorly Drained Soil

Soil Test Interpretation Guide

Monitoring Soil Nutrients Using a Management Unit Approach