55-15 Source and Placement of Fertilizer Affects Cadmium Accumulation in Durum Wheat Cultivars.
Durum wheat is known to accumulate cadmium (Cd) in grain when produced in soils with high levels. North Dakota is a major producer and exporter of durum wheat and grain levels in some regions can approach acceptable limits when intended for export, especially to the European Union (EU). Plant uptake of Cd is affected by many soil properties, including fertilizer and variety grown. Research was conducted in western North Dakota to determine management practices that could be used to reduce Cd levels in durum wheat grain. Factors included in the trial were durum wheat cultivars and fertility management. Cultivars (three commercially available) were chosen based on the presence and absence of the low cadmium gene Cdu1. Fertilizer management practices included the use of KCl and the application of Zn fertilizer from different sources. Data collected included yield and levels of Cd, Fe and Zinc in the grain after harvest. Results from the 2015 season will be presented following harvest. Data from 2014 found that KCl fertilizer placed with seed at planting followed by the foliar Zn treatment at Feekes growth stage 10.0 resulted in the highest grain seed Zn and the lowest grain seed Cd. The untreated control had the highest levels of grain seed Cd. Location was highly significant, indicated that soil Cd levels impacted seed grain Cd levels. Zinc can be used to reduce Cd levels in grain, especially is applied just prior to grain filling. Managing seed grain Cd may be possible by effective source and placement of common fertilizers during the growing season.