Fertilization schedules
September 23, 2022

Autumn fertilization of autumn-winter cereals: well begun is half done!

Autumn-winter cereals are sown between the beginning of October and the end of November, depending on the cultivation and weather conditions. In Italy they are mainly represented by common wheat, durum wheat and barley.

If the main intended use for common wheat is baking and for durum wheat the pasta industry, the uses for barley are more diversified and include animal and human nutrition. In this latter case, the varieties of two-row barley (sometimes sown in spring) are normally destined for the production of beer malt, while six-row barley is mainly used for the production of flour, pearl barley and soluble barley.

The ISTAT Report on the cultivation of cereals in Italy, dated April 26, 2022, stated that: “In 2022, no major changes are expected for the areas invested in common wheat (+0.5%) and durum wheat (-1.4%), while the land invested in the cultivation of barley is increasing (+8.6%)”. The percentages must refer to the areas sown in 2021, equal to about 500,000 ha for common wheat, 1,300,000 ha for durum wheat and 350,000 ha for barley.

However, it should be emphasized that on the date that this article was published, it was plausible to believe that the ISTAT forecasts could undergo some changes due to the complicated international political and economic scenario, with an increase of areas destined for autumn-winter cereals.


The nutritional needs of cereals

We had the opportunity to learn further here, that in the fertilization of cereals, despite the differences attributable to the various intended uses of the product, Nitrogen and Phosphorus play an especially fundamental role. Potassium is normally present in adequate quantities in lands meant for cereals, which, as we recall the sustainable management of agriculture and respect for land, must be rotated with crops such as legumes, fodder or vegetables.

With reference to an indicative yield of 70 quintals/ha of grain, the average macroelements requirements are:

  • 210 kg/Ha of N, 105 kg/ha of P2O5 and 175 kg/Ha of K2O for common and durum wheat;
  • 90 kg/ha of N; 85 kg/Ha of P2O5 and 90 kg/Ha of K2O for barley.

In the biological and cultural cycle of autumn-winter cereals, the sowing, germination, emergence and preparation phases occur during the fall season and need special attention from a nutritional point of view. In fact, the pre-plant fertilization is performed during the pre-sowing (which sometimes remains the only one). Other operations can be contemplated, simultaneously with the sowing (through localized and starter effect distribution of fertilizers), and during the sprouting (with products able to both meet the immediate needs of the plant and, in part, those of the subsequent phases, from tilling onwards).

The fractionation of doses in the different periods and the types of fertilizers used depend on the fertilization plans adopted, normally established based on the cultivation space, the varieties cultivated varieties and… the usual customs.


Climate change and cereal fertilization

It is precisely the usual customs that are worthy of a brief reflection.

The climate change we are witnessing, which affects in particular temperatures and the distribution of rainfall, requires a change in the mentality of farmers and technicians, and it must lead them to duly consider the new nutritional needs of crops, including cereals, in addition to the different absorption rates of the individual elements.


Fertilizing cereals sustainably

On the other hand, the issues related to the environmental and economic sustainability of agricultural practices, which are very current and mandatory, as well as the application of the European Green Deal, also directly and significantly involve the fertilization technique.

Everything that we can do to increase the efficiency of use of fertilizer units distributed, by working on the formulas and methods of distribution, on the physiology of the plant and on the microbiological fertility of the soil, must become a priority.

This is why, for decades, Agribios has focused on the production of organic fertilizers, able to even work on the physical characteristics of soils, organo-minerals, characterized by greater efficiency of use, and on biostimulating products, as well as one inoculated with useful microorganisms.


Agribios recommends



For organic cereal farming

Superoro is an organic fertilizer containing nitrogen and phosphorus bound to protein molecules. The nutrients are therefore not immediately usable by the plants, but rather released gradually and in sync with the nutritional needs of the crops. Its use reduces the leaching and insolubilization of nutrients and at the same time promotes biological activity in soils. The primary nutritional needs of crops are provided by amino acids, then peptides and finally proteins. The same considerations can also be extended to phosphorus. The protein materials contained in Superoro constitute the only nitrogenous food usable by heterophile microorganisms, the activity of which also includes the solubilization of the bone phosphates contained in the product.

Biodieci is a nitrogen-based organic fertilizer obtained by cold pelleting a mixture of four different sources of animal protein partially hydrolyzed. The size of the natural organic molecules that contain nitrogen allows its gradual release, with a prolonged availability for the plant over time. Designed specifically for organic agriculture but also successfully used in conventional agriculture, BIODIECI is applied during the growth cycle of all herbaceous or tree crops that require a nitrogen supply. It is also the ideal substrate for improving the microbial activity of soils.


For conventional/integrated cereal farming

Superprimo 9.20 is an organo-mineral fertilizer that provides, in a single step and together with the mineral fraction containing nitrogen and phosphorus, a high amount of highly humified organic matrix, consisting of a mixture of humidified manure (cattle and poultry) and other organic fertilizers with nitrogen and phosphorous. Particularly suitable for the pre-plant fertilization of cereals, legumes, oilseeds and in all horticultural crops where stimulating the development of the root system is required.

Agriazoto 300 is a high-strength nitrogen-based organo-mineral fertilizer, designed for the optimal fertilization of nitrogen-hungry crops. The specific composition of the organic matter and the forms of nitrogen contained determine a prompt and gradual transfer of the element, to better accompany the development and needs of the crop. Thanks to its special formula, Agriazoto 300 adapts perfectly to both dry and particularly humid climates, protecting the nitrogen from the main causes of inefficiency (evaporation and runoff).


Biostimulating and providing useful microorganisms

Vigorseed P is an inoculum of mycorrhizal fungi in powder format, designed to stimulate seed germination, rooting and the growth of seedlings. It favours the development in the soil of mycorrhizae of the genus Glomus and rhizosphere bacteria with a PGPR effect, which revitalize the soil and generate a very favourable environment for root development, while promoting greater crop resistance to abiotic stress. Suitable for fertilizing the seeds of cereals and horticultural crops, Vigorseed P is applied by mixing it to the seed before sowing or by using a hopper, alternating layers of product and the seed.


Prodotti correlati


Organic fertilizers


Organic fertilizers


Organo-mineral fertilizers

Vigorseed P

Liquid fertilizers

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