Nitrogen applied to the soil is taken up mostly as nitrate N since the soil bacteria convert urea N to nitrate. In order to incorporate this into protein the NO3 has to be reduced to NH2.
Nitrogen applied as a foliar urea spray is largely absorbed in the NH2 form and is thus more readily incorporated into protein.
Sunboost is urea solution stabilised with calcium chloride. Standard urea solutions lose N in the ammonium form, this occurs even under cooler conditions in the morning or evening but is greater at higher temperatures. By reducing this loss the plant is able to utilise the N in Sunburst more efficiently thus reducing the rate required.
Calcium is essential to increase cell wall strength in all crops. This makes plants more resistant to attack by both pests and diseases, including problem diseases such as Fusarium.
Calcium applied to the crop at grain fill also helps to redirect the products of photosynthesis into the grain
Application of Ca to the crop increases the plants uptake of N
Chloride has been shown to increase kernel growth during the grain fill period and to increase kernel weight.
Flag leaf senescence, powdery mildew and rust were all suppressed by application of chloride fertiliser
Common spec for milling wheat is 13% protein/250 hagberg/76kg/hl.
Last year the premium for milling wheat over feed wheat was 26%
New varieties and strobilurin fungicides have helped yields to increase year on year
BUT the amount of Nitrogen applied to wheat has remained static for last 10 years despite this.
Although yield plateau€™s as N increases, protein continues to increase
If N levels are not increased farmers will find it increasingly difficult to achieve required protein.
55% of England, 13% of Scotland and 3% of Wales are designated Nitrate Vulnerable Zones- most of arable area
Farmers in NVZ€™s must be able to justify the nitrogen they use
Foliar applications of nitrogen are more efficient at raising protein than granular N
N applied at the optimum time for foliar application (GS 71-75) does improve loaf score
However late applications of urea are less efficient than early applications and may leave residues which will cause problems in watercourses etc. The higher the rate of N applied at this time the greater the potential problem.
Application of stabilised N as Sunboost reduces the amount of N the farmer needs to apply to get the required result from 200l/ha to 50l/ha.
Sunboost is less subject to volatilisation than standard urea
Sunboost is less scorching than standard urea
After anthesis N uptake by roots ceases and most of the N required for grain growth is translocated from vegetative parts. Leaf proteins may be hydrolysed resulting in decreases in the amount and activity of photosynthesis
Application of calcium apparently causes foliar metabolites to be re-directed to the grain.
The addition of calcium with nitrogen results in increased N absorption, grain yield, and grain weight per unit of dry matter
Calcium applied with nitrogen increases nitrogen use efficiency by more rapid absorption, greater metabolite deposition in seeds and possibly increases in photosynthesis
Adding calcium to cereals appears to improve the ability of the plant to move metabolites out of the flag leaf and into grain
Foliar applied urea and calcium increase the plants resistance to disease