Optimizing phosphorus (P) application to agricultural soils is fundamental to crop production and water quality protection. We sought to relate soil P tests and P sorption characteristics to both crop yield response to P application and environmentally critical soil P status. Barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) was grown in pot experiments with 45 soils of different P status. Half the pots were fertilized at 20 kg P ha−1, and half received no P. Soils were extracted with ammonium lactate, sodium bicarbonate (Olsen P), dilute salt (0.0025 M CaCl2), and diffusive gradient in thin films. Soil adsorption coefficients were determined using the Freundlich isotherm equation, and the degree of P saturation was determined from both oxalate and ammonium lactate extracted Fe, Al, and P. All soil P analyses showed a nonlinear and significant relationship with yield response to P application, and all analyses manifested a threshold value above which no P response was observed. For the commonly used ammonium lactate test, inclusion of Al and Fe improved prediction of plant‐available soil P. The threshold for yield response coincided with the environmentally critical values determined from the degree of P saturation. Results support the conclusion that soil P levels for which no P application is needed also have elevated risk of P loss to runoff.


Application of fish sludge as fertiliser to agricultural land can contribute to closing nutrient cycles in fish farming. The effect of different treatment technologies on the nitrogen fertilisation effects of fish sludge was studied by a bioassay with barley (Hordeum vulgare), an incubation and a field experiment. Dried fish sludge resulted in relative agronomic efficiency of 50–80% compared with mineral fertiliser. The anaerobic digestate based on fish sludge (20 vol%) and dairy manure did not increase nitrogen uptake in barley. Increasing the ratio of fish sludge in the digestate increased the fertilisation effect, but requires optimisation of the biogas process. A simple logistics analysis conducted for a case hatchery showed that on-site drying and co-digestion of fish sludge in a central biogas plant can be regarded as equal in terms of costs. Norway can become an exporter of fish sludge-based recycling fertilisers if current regulations are modified to facilitate nutrient recycling.


The anticipated future changes in temperature, precipitation and snow cover caused by global warming may affect winter survival of autumn sown wheat. More variable weather conditions may cause an increased frequency of periods with alternating freezing and thawing and less stable snow covers. In the present study, the course of plant frost tolerance and growth potential was studied by exposing cold acclimated plants of winter wheat to conditions with alternating periods of freezing and thawing (either -1 °C or +5 °C), and differing durations of snow cover. Tests of frost tolerance and determination of growth potential were performed each time the temperature or snow cover conditions were changed. Periods without snow cover and + 5 °C caused dehardening, with loss of frost tolerance being more pronounced during the first dehardening period than in the second one. The ability to reharden after a dehardening period decreased towards the end of the experimental period. Mild periods during winter also seemed to exhaust plant growth potential, possibly by increasing respiration rate while photosynthesis was still restricted. The results indicate some of the challenges we may face regarding overwintering of winter wheat in a future climate.

Adaptations within the Norwegian wheat value chain to improve quality and obtain high and stable quantities for milling in the forthcoming decades (MATHVETE)

This project aims to improve the quality of Norwegian wheat used for milling to secure high and stable production in forthcoming decades under more challenging climatic conditions. Increasing wheat production for milling is the most efficient way to achieve increased domestic food production in Norway and it will strengthen the competitiveness in the agricultural sector.

Active Updated: 10.12.2020
End: mar 2023
Start: jan 2019
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Division of Food Production and Society

Climate resilient and market adapted Norwegian winter wheat production

Interest in winter wheat is growing in Norway. Climate change is expected to expand the wheat producing regions, yet warmer, wetter conditions in autumn and winter will increase soil erosion and nutrient loss risks. Soil tillage practices that protect the soil and provide optimal plant development are needed. At the same time more precise autumn fertilization strategies are needed to optimize plant growth and freezing tolerance, and reduce the risk of snow mould while minimizing nutrient losses to the environment. The variability of grain quantity and quality from year to year is a challenge for the industry to manage. In some years the supply is larger than what the milling industry is willing to use, leading to a large surplus of Norwegian winter wheat of food grade. There is a need to identify varieties and management strategies to improve the quality of Norwegian winter wheat, thus increasing the bread making market potential. More customized production strategies are also needed for the growing domestic feed wheat market. The objective of the project is to develop climate resilient production strategies to produce winter wheat that fulfills the needs and requirements of the Norwegian market. Prohøst will 1) Investigate the impact of soil tillage strategies on plant establishment, winter survival and yield, 2) Evaluate the influence of autumn fertilization strategies on plant development, cold hardening, winter survival and yield, 3) Quantify the influence of autumn fertilization strategies on development of Microdochium spp. related diseases in winter wheat, and possible impacts on grain quality, 4) Increase the utilization of winter wheat for human consumption through improved variety selection and optimal, sensor-based fertilization, 5) Identify agronomic and socioeconomic factors impacting the profitability of winter wheat production for feed and bread making, thereby allowing for more customized/site-specific winter wheat production strategies.

Active Updated: 26.05.2021
End: apr 2025
Start: may 2021