Course: Foliar Nitrogen

A 10 lecture, online course and resources package which takes a detailed and deep dive into all things nitrogen nutrition and foliar feeding toward improving nitrogen use efficiency.

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Foliar Nitrogen

The live lectures for Foliar Nitrogen have ended, the recordings are available to purchase as an on demand course.


Access to Foliar Nitrogen includes:

  • Permanent access to the 10 lecture online course (detailed outline below)
  • Factsheets and articles summarising key take home learnings from the course
  • Case studies of farmers around the world implementing foliar nitrogen strategies
  • Further reading – a compiled reading list of lay articles and academic papers relevant to and referenced in the course
  • A pdf of powerpoint slides



Course Outline:

Lecture 1 – Introduction & Overview
  • Why Foliar Nitrogen? 
  • Foliar Nitrogen as a transition tool
  • The nitrogen cycle
  • Nitrogen losses and ecosystem enrichment of nitrogen
  • Outline of the Foliar Nitrogen course

​Lecture 2 – Nitrogen Metabolism
  • Uptake and utilisation of different forms of N
  • Nitrogen synergists: essential nutrients that support N metabolism
  • Optimising protein synthesis
  • Harnessing the synergistic effects of multiple N forms
  • Efficiencies of inorganic vs organic nitrogen

Lecture 3 – Nitrogen: Friend or Foe?
  • Impacts of excess or imbalanced N on plant health
  • Plant stress and protein breakdown: does plant immunity/pest and disease resistance suffer?
  • Nutritional drivers of plant immunity
  • Nitrogen in the soil: build or burn soil organic matter?

Lecture 4 – Foliar Uptake Uncovered
  • Foliar fertilisation: what are the benefits for plant and soil?
  • Making the most of foliar feeding – limitations and opportunities
  • Latest on foliar uptake pathways and nutrient utilisation
  • Plant leaf surface interactions 
  • Understanding the key factors that influence nutrient uptake

Lecture 5 – The FACE of Foliars
  • Using the FACE framework to understand and design successful foliar applications
  • Formulation: optimising the mix of the spray solution
  • Application: ensuring the spray reaches the target canopy
  • Crop: navigating the variation among species, varieties or leaf traits
  • Environment: timing field conditions to achieve peak uptake

Lecture 6 – Melting, Mixing, Maximising Response
  • Practical tips for solubilising and mixing urea based foliars
  • Chelating and stabilising N in the spray tank
  • DIY carbon-based inputs
  • Examples of nutrient synergists, additives and what not to mix
  • Water quality and spray solution modification

Lecture 7 – Crop Specific Insights
  • Using plant analysis to formulate foliar recipes
  • Example foliar N recipes
  • Reviewing the timings of foliar N from research papers
  • Summary of crop specific optimum timings for foliar nitrogen applications in cereals, oilseeds, pulses, pastures, horticultural examples etc

Lecture 8 – The Foliar Frontier: Nitrogen Use Efficiency
  • Intro to nutrient use efficiency concepts
  • History on foliar efficiencies and review of efficiency studies
  • Are foliars more efficient than soil applied and can they improve nutrient use efficiencies?
  • Exploring research on soil vs foliar applied inputs
  • How far could we go with foliar N?

Lecture 9 – Foliar Nitrogen from the Field
  • Guest farmers will share their experiences of using foliar nitrogen​
  • Launch of farmer case studies

Lecture 10 – Beyond Foliar Nitrogen
  • INM – Designing integrated strategies to manage N
  • Carbon stabilisers
  • Organic amendments
  • Biofertilisers – N fixers, endophytes etc
  • Plant breeding for NUE
  • Nitrogen Inhibitors 
  • Precision fertilisation
  • Cover crops, catch crops and green manures
  • Companion and intercropping with legumes
  • Livestock integration​



Who is this course for?

Farmers seeking to increase efficiency of applied N inputs will benefit the most from this course. The content has high applicability for arable/cash crop farmers as well as intensive pasture-based and crop-livestock integrated systems. This said, there will be content still relevant to any type of producer who has a keen interest in understanding plant health and metabolism of essential nutrients, foliar technologies and integrated nutrient management. Example foliar recipes for horticultural crops, turf/amenity and organically approved options will also be included.