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Fluid Journal : Fluid Journal 1996-1998
3 Fluid Journal Summer 1998 Figure 7. Movement of nutrients into soil when surface banding. High Concentration Mid Concentration Low Concentration About 30" A high concentration of nutrients at the surface forces nutrients deep in the profile. lbs/A compared to 3,900 lbs/A via broadcasting (Figure 6). N at 120 lbs/A pushed yields to 6,000 lbs/A, compared to 5,700 when broadcasting. Surface banding excelled in another trial, this time before planting on no-till corn stubble. Nitrogen broadcast at the rate of 150 lbs/A produced 149 bu/A, whereas the same amount banded produced 12 bu/A more or 161 bu/A. Yields improved when fertilizer was banded because nitrogen moved deeper into the soil profile. Potential loss of nitrogen from denitrification and immobilization also was reduced. Why better An explanation of why nutrient uptake is improved when fertilizer is surface banded in reduced-till instead of broadcast is shown in Figure 7. Note how the nutrients move deeper into the soil profile. When liquid fertilizer is surface banded, it is about 50 times more concentrated than when it is broadcasted. Even after the band is incorporated with a reduced-till implement, nutrients remain concentrated. The high concentration of nutrients tends to force nutrients deeper into the soil profile. Fixing capacity of the soil becomes overloaded, allowing even phosphorus and potassium, which are considered immobile, to move deeper. Deeper nutrients will promote a deeper root system. A high concentration of nutrients offers four important benefits: • increased root uptake • reductions in fixation of phosphorus and potassium • reductions in nitrogen loss • enhancement of phosphorus uptake by roots via more nitrogen. Conclusion Documentation is sufficient. Speed and convenience of custom application, nutrient efficiency, and improved yields are three mighty benefits for those who switch from broadcasting to surface banding in reduced-till. Dr. Lohry is agronomist for Nutra-Flo Company in Sioux City, Iowa.
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