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Zinc for Winter Wheat

Glenn Leitz
with Lawrence Brown and Paul Peterson, WSU


Determine if zinc will increase winter wheat yields.

Location: Fairfield, WA
Annual precipitation: 20 inches
Rotation: 1993 - lentil; 1992 - wheat

  1. Check - no zinc
  2. Zinc - 2-1/2 oz Ruff 'n Ready Zn (chelated-10% conc.)

On 12 Oct 93 Zn was applied with 92 lb N as NH3, 20 lb P and 15 lb sulfur using a chisel fertilizer applicator. (This was the only tillage before seeding on this lentil field.) Seeded field to Madsen on 13 Oct 93, 7" double disc drill. The plots were 30 by 450 ft. A 22 x 450 ft cut was taken for yield.


Yield (bu/ac) of winter wheat with and without zinc

 Treatment Rep 1 Rep 2 Rep 3 Rep 4 Average
Zinc 40 39 43 42 41a
Check 41 33 44 44 41a
LSD (5%)         6.9
CV         9.8%


There were no differences in yield, test weight (average 55.5 lb/bu) or protein (average 12.9%). Fall conditions were too dry for wheat to emerge. Wheat came up during late winter. Stand was somewhat ragged and uneven as spring growth began and wheat progress was slow, even with May rains. Balance of summer was well below average rainfall--driest in this area since 1977. With poorer than normal plant population and dry conditions, crop was marginal at best.


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