Changing nitrogen recommendations for wheat

By Harold Watters, Ohio State University Extension agronomist

Do we have any wheat left in Ohio? Last numbers I saw suggested we were below 500,000 acres. I know we had a rough fall to get wheat planted, with wet conditions and harvest delays, but I would like to see more acres. It makes our other two crops better and reduces weed, insect and disease problems for them. The new Ohio Agronomy Guide has just a bit of an update on spring nitrogen (N) recommendations for wheat in Ohio.

We do rely on yield potential to make the wheat N recommendation — not for corn anymore, but we still do for wheat. Once you have set a realistic yield goal, follow rates suggested in the table. These recommendations are for mineral soils with adequate drainage and 1% to 5% organic matter.


Nitrogen rate for wheat by yield potential.

Yield potentialTotal N rate


We do not give any credit for the previous soybean or cover crop, since we do not know if that organic N source will be mineralized for the wheat crop — with cool spring conditions this process is slowed down. The recommendation does suggest that you subtract from the total (spring N) any fall applied N up to 20 pounds of N per acre. The Ohio Agronomy Guide is available at all OSU Extension offices.

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