Spring wheat response to fertilizer nitrogen following a sugar beet crop varying in canopy color

Albert L Sims, J. T. Moraghan, L. J. Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Experiments were conducted in the Red River Valley (RRV) of Minnesota to determine the responses of hard red spring wheat (Triticum aerstivum L.) to fertilizer N after a sugar beet (Beta vulgaris L.) crop that varied spatially in canopy color and N content. A color aerial photograph was acquired of the sugar beet field just prior to root harvest, and six sites were selected that varied in sugar beet canopy color, three each of green and yellow canopy sites. The three green sugar beet canopies returned 369, 265, and 266 kg N ha -1 to the soil while the three yellow sugar beet canopies returned 124, 71, and 73 kg N ha -1 to the soil. Spring wheat response to fall-applied urea-N fertilizer (0, 45, 90, 135, and 180 kg N ha -1) was determined the following year at each of the above antecedent canopy sites. Soil NO 3-N in the top 0.6 m of soil varied among the locations with a range of 35 to 407 kg NO 3-N ha -1 at the green canopy sites and 12 to 23 kg NO 3-N ha -1 at the yellow canopy sites. Application of fertilizer N according to traditional recommendation methods would have resulted in fertilizer applications at all three yellow canopy sites and two of the three green canopy sites. At the antecedent green sugar beet canopy sites, fertilizer N had little or no effect on spring wheat grain yields, grain N concentration, anthesis dry matter, and anthesis N content. In contrast, fertilizer N increased all four parameters at the antecedent yellow sugar beet canopy sites. The data indicate that fertilizer N management can be improved by using remote sensing to delineate management zones according to antecedent sugar beet canopy color.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)283-295
Number of pages13
JournalPrecision Agriculture
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2002

Bibliographical note

Copyright 2012 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • Nitrogen
  • Remote sensing
  • Spring wheat
  • Sugar beet canopy

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