Complete: Comparison of soil and foliar applied nutrition to improve yields

Timescale: 2019 one year project
Project Lead: Dr Simon Bowen
Project Sponsor: BBRO

Project Summary

A number of approaches to ensure developing seedling receive optimum nutrition are practiced across a range of other crops. This includes: seed-applied nutrition, placing fertiliser close to seed at drilling and early foliar nutrient applications. The important of rapid canopy development in sugar beet crops is key to ensure key growth stages such as 6-leaf (establishment) 12-leaf stage (mature plant virus resistance) and full canopy (optimal yield production) are reached as early as possible in the season.

Main Objectives

It is proposed that seed-applied, placed and foliar applications of nitrogen and phosphate are assessed individually and in combination for effects on early canopy development.

The experimental approach will be to undertake field trials through to full canopy. Taking trials to yield could be avoided to minimize costs. Alternatively, yield estimates could be estimated using the BeetGro model from the full canopy stage. This would also allow for modelling impacts of different weather patterns post-full canopy stage.

Canopy development will be closely monitored by RGB photography, NDVI (multi-spectral) imaging and fresh weight plant analysis.

Outcomes / Key Message For Growers And Industry

  • Despite a few site-specific responses there were no consistent effects of applying either additional soil or foliar nutritional treatments to sugar beet in 2018.
  • All treatments were applied earlier to the crop before the summer drought which may have masked any responses as early canopy production was lost due to moisture and heat stress.
Share on
BBRO is a not for profit making company.
We are set up jointly by British Sugar plc and the National Farmers' Union.

British Sugar
National Farmers' Union