University of Idaho Extension

Managing nutrients for small grain production


Small grains are important crops throughout Idaho and are grown in diverse production systems ranging from fully irrigated to low rainfall wheat-fallow.  Wheat  market classes include soft white winter (SWW) and spring (SWS), hard red winter (HRW) and spring (HRS), and hard white winter (HWW) and spring (HWW), club (CW)  and durum (DW).  Wheat is also fed to livestock.  Barley is grown for malt,  animal feed, and human food.  Combined small grains represent the second most valuable crop marketed in Idaho. They are valuable for the receipts they provide directly to farms but also are excellent rotation crops for other commodities that may involve higher production costs, marketing risks, and income potential.   Effective nutrient management is critical for the success of small grains, affecting both production and quality.  This section relates some of the information pertinent to Idaho small grain production systems

          Northern Idaho Fertilizer Guide
 
              Spring Barley
               Winter Barley
               Soft White Spring Wheat
               Winter Wheat
               Oats

          Southern Idaho Fertilizer Guide
               Irrigated Spring Barley
               Irrigated Winter Barley
               Irrigated Spring Wheat
               Irrigated Winter Wheat

Photos courtesy of International Plant Nutrition Institute (IPNI).                                        

WHEAT

     

Nitrogen deficiency in wheat. Nitrogen deficient small crop with light green upper (young) leaves and yellow older leaves (IPNI).

 

           

Phosphorus deficiency in wheat. Dark purple discoloration on the leaf tips, advancing down the leaf in a broad front (IPNI).

 

  • Sulfur
    • Stevens, G., Motavalli, P., Scharf, P., Nathan, M., and Dunn, D. (2002). Crop Nutrient Deficiencies & Toxicities. Plant Protection Programs College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources. Published by MU Extension, University of Missouri, Columbia.

 

Sulfur deficiency in wheat. Sulfur deficient wheat seedlings showing pale yellow chlorosis more prominent on young leaves (Left).Yellow chlorotic S deficient leaf (left) compared with normal green leaf (right) (IPNI).

 

  • Potassium
    • Stevens, G., Motavalli, P., Scharf, P., Nathan, M., and Dunn, D. (2002). Crop Nutrient Deficiencies & Toxicities. Plant Protection Programs College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources. Published by MU Extension, University of Missouri, Columbia.

Potassium deficiency in wheat. Marginal chlorosis and necrosis on older leaves (IPNI).

 

BARLEY

Nitrogen deficiency in Barley (left). Nitrogen sufficient Barley (right). Taken near Eden, ID. June, 2012. Amber Moore, University of Idaho.

 

 

Potassium deficiency in barley.  Sandy soil, very K deficient. A low rate of K (15-20 lb per acre) placed with the seed can correct most deficiencies. This shows the response and symptoms in early spring(Left). Advanced stages of K deficiency resulting in leaf necrosis(Right). (IPNI).

 

        

Sulfur deficiency in barley. Sulfur deficient plant showing most affected youngest leaf (Left). Iron deficiency in barley. Iron deficient barley crop. In mild deficiencies, temporary fading of interveinal tissues commonly occurs (Right). (IPNI).

 

 

Zinc deficiency in barley. Zinc deficient leaf showing initial symptoms of pale yellow linear chlorotic areas.(Left). Copper deficiency in barley. Showing typical pig tailing (Right) (IPNI).

 

OATS

TRITICALE

Fertilizer in Wheat Production

Small Grain Residue Management

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