Southern-Swedish farmer network for nitrogen-efficient wheat production

The Swedish University of Agricultural Science is working with conventional arable farmers, researchers, advisors from HIR Skåne, and other organizations to improve nitrogen use efficiency at the individual crop and cropping system level, to enhance farm profitability and reduce nitrogen losses.

The network is conducting on-farm trials with 6 to 8 farmers to test contrasting bread wheat genotypes and innovative management practices (e.g. tillage practices; organic/inorganic fertilization strategies, including decision support tools such as N sensors; grain legume pre-crops) for improved nitrogen use efficiency. The network will also be engaged in workshops with stakeholders to discuss the feasibility of different strategies for improved nitrogen use efficiency.

The trials are located in the western Scanian region in southern Sweden, and will focus on bread wheat (winter wheat), included in crop rotations with spring barley and oilseed rape. Many, but not all farms also include sugar beet, grass (for seed production) or grain legumes (faba bean or pea) in their rotation. Conventional arable cropping systems, mainly stockless but some with mixed crop/livestock systems, will be used. 

The region has a warm humid temperate climate, with 500–800 mm average annual precipitation and 6–12°C average annual temperature. They have mostly sediment soils (clay/silt/sand), with large variations, even within the region, regarding the contents of clay, sand and organic matter.