Effects of seeding rate, fertilizing time and fertilizer type on yield, nutritive value and silage quality of whole-crop wheat

Liuxing Xu, Zhaohong Xu, Mingxia Chen, Jianguo Zhang

Abstract


Whole-crop wheat (WCW) is rich in nutrients and is widely used as a forage crop. This study consisted of 2 experiments: Experiment 1 studied the yield, nutritive value and silage quality of WCW at 3 seeding rates (320 kg/ha, S320; 385 kg/ha, S385; and 450 kg/ha, S450) and different fertilizing times, i.e. 60% at seedling stage and the remaining 40% at the jointing stage vs. heading stage; and Experiment 2 examined the yield, nutritive value and silage quality of WCW receiving different fertilizer types, i.e. urea, compound fertilizer (N:P:K) and urea + compound fertilizer (all iso-nitrogenous). With the increased seeding rate, dry matter (DM) and crude protein (CP) yields tended to increase, but relative feed value tended to decrease. Experiment 1: there was no significant interaction between time of applying the second fertilizer dose and seeding rate in terms of concentrations of CP, crude fiber, ether extract, crude ash, nitrogen-free extract, neutral detergent fiber (NDF) and acid detergent fiber (ADF) in wheat (P>0.05). However, a significant interaction between fertilizing time and seeding rate was observed in terms of silage fermentation quality (pH, lactic acid, butyric acid and NH3-N concentrations) (P<0.05). Experiment 2: DM yield, CP yield and concentrations of CP, ADF and water-soluble carbohydrate were not affected by fertilizer type (P>0.05). Fertilizer type had significant effects on pH of silage and concentrations of organic acids (except propionic acid) and NH3-N in WCW silage (P<0.05). Under the present study conditions, considering DM yield, nutrient composition and silage fermentation quality, an optimal seeding rate of wheat for forage appears to be about 385 kg/ha. N fertilizer should be applied at the seedling stage and jointing stage. Although applying a mixture of urea and compound fertilizer had no significant effects on yield and nutritive value of WCW relative to applying urea alone, it did improve silage fermentation quality. Results may differ on different soils.


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DOI: https://doi.org/10.17138/tgft(9)225-234

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