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Developing tools to predict the protein content of bread making wheat to better manage fertiliser application - LK0990

SA432 Predicting grain protein to meet market requirements for breadmaking and minimise diffuse pollution from wheat production

This project aims to improve the efficiency of decision making with respect to applications of fertiliser nitrogen to milling wheat. The approach will be to use a crop modelling approach, combined with NIR sensing of crop nitrogen content between growth stages 61 and 73, to predict final grain protein content and grain yield. The results will allow growers to target inputs of late applied foliar urea to milling wheat crops. The aim will be to identify those crops where application of FU is not needed, and thereby saving input costs, and similarly, those crops where application of FU would be advantageous in meeting the market requirements for wheat at 12.5% for export and 13% protein for UK millers.

The objectives will be to:

1. Develop a model to predict final grain yield and protein content
2. Test the model with growers and grain cooperatives using commercial crops
3. Provide reference dataset to test physiological aspects of model
4. Validate and improve previous NIR calibrations for N% and moisture in immature material and grain
5. Validate overall grain yield and grain protein forecasting model

The project will test the prediction system with up to 60 commercial growers over three seasons. Samples will be collected by growers and delivered to two central locations (grain cooperatives) equipped with NIR machines. Specific experimentation will be carried out to test the underlying hypotheses used in the model regarding physiological aspects of nitrogen partitioning within the crops. Field experiments will also generate reference samples to improve the underlying NIR calibrations for nitrogen and moisture content in immature material, developed during the previous MALNA LINK project.
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 2007

To: 2010

Cost: £310,938
Contractor / Funded Organisations
Bruker Optics Ltd, Home Grown Cereals Authority, Camgrain Stores Ltd, Fengrain Ltd, Heygates Ltd, Campden Technology Ltd, ADAS UK Ltd.
Arable Farming              
Cereal Production              
Crop Improvement              
Diffuse Pollution