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International Journal of Agronomy
Volume 2014, Article ID 312416, 12 pages
Research Article

Effect of Preplant Irrigation, Nitrogen Fertilizer Application Timing, and Phosphorus and Potassium Fertilization on Winter Wheat Grain Yield and Water Use Efficiency

Department of Plant and Soil Sciences, Oklahoma State University, 368 Agricultural Hall, Stillwater, OK 74078, USA

Received 14 January 2014; Accepted 7 March 2014; Published 3 April 2014

Academic Editor: David Clay

Copyright © 2014 Jacob T. Bushong et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Preplant irrigation can impact fertilizer management in winter wheat. The objective of this study was to evaluate the main and interactive effects of preplant irrigation, N fertilizer application timing, and different N, P, and K fertilizer treatments on grain yield and WUE. Several significant two-way interactions and main effects of all three factors evaluated were observed over four growing seasons for grain yield and WUE. These effects could be described by differences in rainfall and soil moisture content among years. Overall, grain yield and WUE were optimized, if irrigation or adequate soil moisture were available prior to planting. For rain-fed treatments, the timing of N fertilizer application was not as important and could be applied before planting or topdressed without much difference in yield. The application of P fertilizer proved to be beneficial on average years but was not needed in years where above average soil moisture was present. There was no added benefit to applying K fertilizer. In conclusion, N and P fertilizer management practices may need to be altered yearly based on changes in soil moisture from irrigation and/or rainfall.