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CMP Nov Update – Nitrogen Prices and Rates for Wheat by Colin Edwards

Nitrogen prices and rates for wheat

The current sky-high nitrogen prices are causing us all great concern, especially those who have still got nitrogen to order. The question is does paying a lot more for nitrogen alter how much we should be applying to wheat. The answer is that it depends on the average amount paid for the nitrogen and the likely selling price of the wheat. It is tempting to cut back on nitrogen, but some point the saving from reducing nitrogen becomes less than the value of the lost grain. Of course, for milling wheat any reduction in nitrogen is likely to reduce grain protein levels so this must be looked at differently but for feed wheat the following table applies:


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For milling wheat, the question is what extra milling premium is required to cover the extra growing costs and are these likely to be achieved. The table below looks at either 40kg/ha N or 80kg/ha N needing to be applied to achieve milling quality. The premium required to cover nitrogen costs at different nitrogen prices and yields is as follows:

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A small extra premium would be needed to cover the cost of extra ear fungicide on a milling crop, say £7/ha or £0.7/ha for a 10T/ha crop.