Nutrient Management

Introduction Fertilizer Application Time and Method Nitrogen Sulphur Zinc Manganese


  • Nutrients play an important role in the wheat production.
  • Well rotten farmyard manure (FYM) or compost should be applied at the rate of 15 to 20 tons after every two years.
  • The above will provide partially the requirement of nitrogen and will keep the soil physical properties in good condition.


Fertilizer Application

  • Apply fertilizer on soil test basis. In the absence of a soil test, add the following amounts of fertilizers to wheat grown on medium fertility soils :

Nutrients* (kg/acre)
Fertilizers (kg/acre)
Urea (46*)
DAP*** or (18.46%)
Super phosphate (16%)
Nitro phophate *** (20:20%)
Muriate of potash (60%)

* These nutrients can also be supplied from other fertilizers available in the market. All sources of nitrogen and phosphorus available are equally efficient.

**Apply potassium to soils testing low in this nutrient and the above dose may be doubled in the districts of Gurdaspur, Hoshiarpur, Ropar and Nawanshahar.

***When 55 kg of DAP or 125 kg of Nitrophosphate is used, reduce the dose of urea by 20 kg and 50 kg, respectively.


Time and Method of Fertilizer Application:

  • Drill 1/2 dose of N and whole of P and K at sowing and broadcast the remaining N with the first irrigation. If Nitrophosphate is used as source of P, omit nitrogen application at sowing.

  • Note:

    1. Reduce the Nitrogen dose to one-half if the field has been green manured in the preceding kharif season. Phosphorus recommended for wheat should be applied to the green manuring crop. Summer green manuring to maize increases the yield of succeeding wheat also.
    2. If farmyard manure has been applied, reduce the fertilizer quantity by 2 kg of nitrogen and 1 kg of phosphorus per 10 quintal of farmyard manure applied. It press mud (6 t/acre) has been applied to previous rice, reduce the fertilizer N dose by one-third and fertilizer P dose by one-half.
    3. Where wheat follows potato which received 10 tonnes of farmyard manure per acre, no phosphorus and only one-half of the recommended nitrogen dose needs to be applied.
    4. To the wheat crop sown after mid-December, apply 25% less, nitrogen than that recommended for the normal Sown crop.
    5. To the crop sown in kallar soil, apply 25% more nitrogen than recommended.
    6. If nitrogen is to be applied in the form of urea, apply half of f the dose just before pre-sowing irrigation (raum) or with the final' preparatory tillage, the second dose within 7 days before or up to 5 days after first irrigation. In light soils, apply 1/2 nitrogen at the time of sowing, 1/4 nitrogen immediately after first irrigation and the remaining 1/4 nitrogen after second irrigation. Urea can also be applied as foliar spray at the late-tillering and late jointing stages if the crop shows nitrogen deficiency. For high volume spray pumps (knapsack Sprayer), use 3% urea solution (3kg in 100 litres of water). To cover the crop thoroughly, spraying may be done cross-wise and a total volume of 300 litres of water per acre should be used. In case of low volume spray (shoulder mounted PDWer sprayer), higher concentration of urea upto 20% can be used.
    7. Wheat is more responsive to phosphorous application than kharif crops. Hence apply phosphorus to wheat and omit its application to following kharif crop.



    • Most limiting nutrient
    • Highly soluble and highly mobile
    • Rapid transformation into leachable forms

    • Losses may be as a gas (volatalisation) when nitrate is exposed to anaerobic condition and leaching
    • N loss is very high in flooded soils

    • Role of N in plant system

    • Green colour of plant (photosynthesis)
    • Rapid vegetative growth (height, tillering, branching)
    • Increased leaf size (more leaf area and high radiation use efficiency)
    • Increased protein content of grain (% N x 6.25 = % Protein)


    • Leaves pale green yellow colour.
    • Firing of lower leaves.


    • Apply nitrogenous fertilizer such as urea Diammonium phosphate, etc.
    • If the symptoms appear foliar application of urea is advised for quick recovery of plants.


    • Ammonium Sulphate 20%
    • Ammonium Sulphate Nitrate 26%
    • Urea 46%
    • Ammonium Chloride 25%
    • Calcium ammonium Nitrate 25%
    • Nitrophos 14%
    • Dia ammonium Phosphate 18%




    • Wheat crop suffers from sulphur deficiency when sown in sandy soils.

    • The deficiency is more severe when the winter rains continue for a long time in the early growth period.

    • The symptoms first appear on the younger leaves with fading of the normal green colour. This is followed in the veins.
    • The topmost leaves become light yellow except for the tip, while the lower leaves retain green colour for a longer time.
    • This is distinctly different from the nitrogen deficiency where the yellowing starts with the lower leaves. The plants are short in size with fewer tillers.


    • Use sulphur-containing fertilizer as single super phosphate.
    • Where phosphorus was not applied as single super phosphate, apply 100 kg of gypsum per acre before sowing to meet the sulphur requirement of the crop.
    • Apply 20 to 40 kg Sulphur/ha.
    • If recommended dose of gypsum were applied to groundnut, apply only 50kg/acre. Gypsum can also be applied in standing crop if deficiency of sulphur is observed.
    • When sulphur deficiency is noticed in a standing crop, addition of readily soluble source even 40-45 days after sowing can raise grain yields


    • Ammonium Sulphate 24%
    • Single Super Phosphate 12%
    • Paramphos 15%



    • Zinc deficiency generally appears in light soils under intensive cropping.
    • If recommended dose of zinc sulphate has been applied to the kharif crop, its application may be omitted to the following wheat crop.
    • Paddy responds more to zinc application, therefore zinc should be applied to paddy and its residue is sufficient to meet the requirement of the following wheat crop.
    • However, if zinc has not been applied to paddy and zinc deficiency is expected/ appears whose symptoms are a stunted and bushy crop with leaves chlorotic in the middle, which later break and keep hanging.

    • Application of 25 kg of zinc sulphate per acre which will be enough for 2-3 years.

    • Zinc deficiency can also be corrected by foliar spray of 0.5% zinc sulphate (21% Zinc).
    • Prepare the solution for spray by dissolving 1 kg zinc sulphate and 1/2 kg unslaked lime in 200 litres of water. This solution is sufficient for spraying an acre of wheat once. Two or three sprays at 15-day intervals are needed.



    • Manganese deficiency generally appears in light soils under intensive cropping especially in rice- wheat rotation.
    • The symptoms appear on the middle leaves as interveinal chlorosis with light grayish yellow to pinkish brown or buff coloured specks of variable size confined largely to 2/3 lower portion of the leaf; Later, the specks coalesce forming a streak or band in between the veins which remain green. In acute deficiency whole of the plant may become dry.
    • At earing stage, the symptoms become prominent flag leaf.
    • In manganese deficient soils, give one spray of 0.5% manganese sulphate solution (1 kg manganese sulphate in 200 litres of water) 2-4 days before first irrigation and two to three sprays afterwards at weekly intervals on sunny days.
    • Do not grow varieties PDW 291, PDW 274 and PDW 233 in sandy soils as these varieties are prone to manganese deficiency.
    • Manganese sulphate should be sprayed only as its soil application is not profitable.