Nitrogen deficiency

Constraint - Nitrogen 

Plant use

  • Nitrogen is a macronutrient

  • Nitrogen is an essential component of amino acids, which are essential building blocks of proteins, enzymes, and chlorophyll

  • As such, it is needed for all growth processes and is integral to the correct functioning of all cells


  • Stunted growth

  • Yellowing of leaves, with older leaves affected first

  • In severe cases, most or all leaf growth is affected

  •  Low protein content of crop


  • Yield penalty can be severe

  • In extreme cases without treatment, the plant may die


A soil test or a plant tissue test should be used to confirm nitrogen deficiency. Nitrogenous fertilisers, as well as the use of leguminous green/brown manure crops and animal excreta can increase soil nitrogen content. Maintaining soil pH above 5.5 will increase the amount of soil N available for plant use.






Links and Resources

PDF DEPI VIC - A Nutrient Review of Nitrogen in Wheat

23 page PDF. Extensive literature review of Nitrogen. 'Nitrogen as a nutrient for wheat in the Southern Region'. Written 2013.

File size: 691kb
DEPI VIC - What nutrients do plants require

6.3.1 Plant uses of N, as well as deficiency symptoms and the N cycle. Page last updated 2013.

File size: 691kb
DPI NSW - Growing eight tonnes a hectare of irrigated wheat in southern NSW

Page 4 of a 12 page PDF. Information on nitrogen pre sowing and at sowing. Published 2006.

File size: 691kb
SARDI - Nutrition Management in Broadacre Cropping

5 page PDF. Information on macronutrients, micronutrients, and deficiency symptoms and management of nitrogen, phosphorus, sulfur, zinc, copper, and managanese.

File size: 691kb