New areas of research at ICARDA

November 15, 2011 at 7:42 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Experiments at Tel Hadya on nitrogen use efficiency in cereals

Nitrogen is the second most important factor, after water, in cereal production. However, under rainfed conditions, its availability in high concentration in the soil can involve high early biomass production, rapid depletion of soil moisture and crop failure. In fact, farmers are reluctant to apply Nitrogen fertilizer in low-rainfall production areas of WANA, and prefer to employ another alternative – the development of varieties with high nitrogen use efficiency adapted to low water and Nitrogen input conditions. To reach this objective, scientists from the Integrated Water and Land Management Program (IWLMP) and Biodiversity and Integrated Gene Management Program (BIGMP) of ICARDA are now identifying agronomic and physiological traits and adapted genetic material to be used in developing varieties with higher drought tolerance and nitrogen use efficiency in durum wheat and barley. Preliminary data showed high genotypic variation of land and water productivity, nitrogen use efficiency, nitrogen uptake efficiency, nitrogen utilization efficiency and nitrogen harvest index. Nitrogen utilization efficiency is the component that contributes most to nitrogen use efficiency.


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