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Fluid Journal : Fluid Journal 1993-1995
1 Fluid Journal Fall 1993 Summary: Application of starter fertilizers in ridge---till systems at our plot location in Monmouth. Illinois, increased corn yields from 0.2 to 8.1 bu/ A, for full and reduced fertilizer programs, respectively. Preplant injected nitrogen and 100 percent weed and feed treatments produced identical results. Yields were reduced in the 50/50 weed and feed/side-dress treatments. Mixing PK and N for the weed and feed application may have reduced N losses. PK placement did not significantly affect corn yields. DRIS analysis revealed N, K and Zn to he limiting, with nitrogen the most limiting. Weed control was excellent for all treatments. P and K levels in the soil were sufficient for optimum yields, making all PK application methods acceptable. he Northwestern Agricultural Research and Demonstration Center near Monmouth, Illinois, was the site of our project. Our objectives were to: 1) study the effects of a starter in a ridge-till, continuous corn system, 2) develop a program to produce optimum yields in the same system, 3) evaluate "weed and feed" using UAN as a herbicide carrier, and 4) compare effects of N and PK placements on yields. Predominant soil type was Sable silty clay loam. This soil has inherent fertility and previously has been managed for maximum production, both through the use of livestock wastes, fertilizer, and crop rotations. Since acquiring the farm in 1980, the by Michael J. Mainz FFFFFine-tuning for Ridge-til l ine-tuning for Ridge-til l ine-tuning for Ridge-till ine-tuning for Ridge-till ine-tuning for Ridge-till Illinois scientist evaluates placement methods and "weed and feed", using fluid fertilizers in ridge-till systems. T University of Illinois has managed it to maintain productivity while drawing down the fertility levels. Initial pH was 7.1, Bray P1 at 92 lbs/A, K test at 292 lbs/A and organic matter at 3.5. Fertilizers were clear 2-6-12 (PK source) and 7-18-6-2S-0.5Zn (starter source), and 32-0-0. Total fertilizer applied in the full-rate treatments was 170-45-60-2S-0.5 Zn. Fall PK was surface stripped on the ridge top within three inches of the old corn row. All spring N and PK treatments were applied shortly after planting and before crop emergence. The top 1 to 1.5 inches of the ridge top were removed at planting, creating a 6- to 8-inch band, free of residue for the new corn row. Planting was done at 26,100 kernels/A. Weather problems delayed planting until May 18 in 1990. Planting was done on May 5, 1989 and April 26, 1991, which was more timely. Sidedress N treatments were applied when corn was in the 4- to 5-leaf stage. Ear leaf samples were taken at early pollination all three years. Starters Starter fertilizer increased continuous corn yields as shown in Figure 1. Generally, starters increased yields 1 to 2.5 bu/A on soils testing at or above recommended levels for P and K. Interactions between N or PK placements and starter are shown in Figures 2 and 3. The greatest positive yield response occurred when N was applied 100 percent weed and feed. Grain moisture decreased very little with starter---0.01 percent over three years. Weed and feed Preplant inject, 100 percent weed and feed treatments produced the highest three-year yields. Only in 1991 were they significantly higher yielding than the 50/50 weed and feed/sidedress treatment. Grain moisture was lowest Yield - bu/A No NPK No PK Full Fertilizer 140 130 120 110 100 No Starter Starter Figure 1. Effect of starters on cor n yields, ridge-till (three-year average).
Fluid Journal 1996-1998