Some producers prefer to split their N fertilizer application between the fall and the spring. The value of this option depends on how practical it is for individual growers. For example, this may be a good fit for producers who do not have side or mid-row banding capabilities but want to make sure their crop has enough N to make it through the first few weeks of growth in the spring before they can get out and topdress the balance. In the spring, the producer can then apply the remaining N requirement based on soil moisture and crop conditions. This helps manage nutrient losses in wet soil conditions.
Winter wheat nitrogen management is different than spring wheat; therefore, when considering how to adopt the 4Rs into your farm operation, it may involve different choices than a spring sown crop. For example, choosing the right source/lowest risk product (i.e. a urease inhibitor) based on best management practices may help reduce risks associated with broadcasting if this is the best choice to achieve the desired nutrients to the crop at the right time and right rate.
Regardless of the option chosen to apply N, there is one component that is critical: be certain to use adequate rates. Winter wheat yields up to 40 per cent more that CWRS wheat and therefore requires more nitrogen. Using a soil test and the assistance of a local agronomist to determine proper rates is advised.