Influence of seeding rate and KCl application across the landscape
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The development of variable rate controllers for air seeder carts has provided farmers with the opportunity to consider varying the rate of fertilizer and seed at seeding. While considerable work has been completed, or is currently under way, evaluating variable fertilizer rates, little has been done to determine the effect of varying seeding rates. In addition, application of potassium chloride across the landscape has been found to provide variable grain yield responses for CWRS wheat. Field research trials were established in 1997 at St. Louis (Black soil zone) and Watrous (Dark Brown soil zone) to evaluate the effect of varying CWRS wheat seeding rate and KC1 application across the upper, mid and lower slope positions of a hilly landscape. While increasing seeding rate resulted in an increase in plant establishment, this was not reflected in final grain yield. Yield component analysis determined that the increase in grain filled heads at harvest with increased seeding rate was offset by a reduction in the number of kernels per head. Wheat response to KC1 was highly variable, with an increase in grain yield at St. Louis and a decrease at Watrous. While July growing season conditions were dry at both Watrous and St. Louis, we did not collect sufficient crop establishment and yield component data to explain the results obtained.
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