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, recordings are currently being edited and the course will be available to purchase as an on demand course shortly.


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.


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