Monday, November 2, 2009: 10:00 AM
Convention Center, Room 320, Third Floor
Hard red winter (HRW) wheat production has the potential to increase grower profits in
Eastern Oregon. Market premiums for high protein HRW wheat are attractive to producers in this region where soft white winter (SWW) wheat predominates. An understanding of proper nitrogen (N) management and variety performance of HRW wheat in Eastern Oregon is necessary for profitable production. Managing N for grain yield and protein in this dryland production region is challenging due to climatic and year to year weather variation. Experiments at three locations in Eastern Oregon were initiated in 2006 to study the effects of variety, N fertilizer and location on grain yield and protein of HRW wheat. Locations represent two low (10-12 in.) and one intermediate (16 in.) rainfall zone. Seven rates of N fertilizer and three HRW varieties were evaluated. Fertilizer rates were higher according to the greater yield potential of the intermediate rainfall site. The new HRW varieties Norwest 553 and AgriPro Paladin produced similar or higher grain yields and higher grain protein than the standard HRW variety Boundary. Grain yield of HRW varieties were competitive with the SWW variety Stephens. Minimal grain yield response to N fertilizer was observed. However, grain protein response to N fertilizer was significant, and varied by year and location. Environmental factors and residual soil N in each growing season substantially impacted yield and protein. Some site-years proved favorable for efficient production of high protein HRW, whereas acceptable protein concentrations were very difficult to achieve in others. Nitrogen requirements for grain yield and protein appear to be more stable in the intermediate rainfall zone, suggesting this environment may be more suitable for HRW production.