Fertilizer Requirements of Cereals

 
 
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 The total amount of plant nutrients removed from the soil by a crop depends on the yield - the greater the yield, the greater the amount removed.

Based on equal seed yields per unit area, whole barley, wheat and oat plants extract about the same combined quantities of nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P2O5), potassium (K20) and sulphur (S) from the soil, but considerably less than canola. When only the seed is removed, and all straw is left on the field, barley removes slightly more nutrients from the soil than oats but less than wheat or canola as the following table shows.

Nutrients Used by Crops* (kilogram per hectare)

Crop
Crop Part
N
P205
K20
S
Wheat
Seed
79
32
21
5
(3225 kg/ha or 48 bu/ac)
Straw
32
7
64
8
Total
111
39
85
13
Barley
Seed
65
24
22
5
(3225 kg/ha or 60 bu/ac)
Straw
34
9
73
8
Total
99
33
95
13
Oats
Seed
58
24
17
8
(3225 kg/ha or 84 bu/ac)
Straw
40
15
70
10
Total
98
39
87
18
Canola
Seed
120
57
29
21
(3225 kg/ha or 57 bu/ac)
Straw
70
26
121
17
Total
190
83
150
38
(To convert kg/ha into lb/ac, multiply by 0.89) Canola yield is extremely high, but in order to make the comparison, it was left at the same weight as the other grains.
*Source: Western Canada Fertilizer Association.
 
 
 
 
For more information about the content of this document, contact Len Kryzanowski.
This document is maintained by Mary Ann Nelson.
This information published to the web on July 17, 2002.
Last Reviewed/Revised on January 20, 2015.