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Fluid Journal : Fluid Journal 1999-2001
1 Fluid Journal Winter 1999 Summary: Starter fertilizer can be a valuable management tool for the progressive farmer. Starters may alleviate nutrient imbalances when broiler litter is used as a nutrient source. Starters also provide early- season nutrient enhancement, which may lessen the negative effects of adverse growing conditions. Finally, starters may be used to more evenly distribute nitrogen throughout the growing season on Coastal Plain soils. The economics of today's cotton production requires that farmers produce high yields with lowest possible costs per unit of production. Growers may find starter fertilizers useful in achieving these goals. Native Americans were probably the first to practice precision fertilizer placement when they buried fish below the seed hill at planting. Since that time volumes of literature describing the effects of starter fertilizers in crop production have been published. Starter fertilizers in cotton, however, are relatively new. Until now, cotton starters have not been investigated in the Coastal Plain of Georgia. Two studies The first study was conducted at the Coastal Plain Experiment Station in Tifton, on a Tifton loamy sand. Cotton was planted into wheat stubble in which 0, 2, 4, or 6 tons/A of broiler litter had been surface applied. The large broiler industry in Georgia is looking to the Coastal Plain cropland for litter disposal. However, poultry litter does not contain balanced nutrition for the crop. Thus, starter fertilizers may be of value in providing balanced nutrition for these production systems. The second in a series of studies was conducted at our experimental sites at Tifton, Midville, and Plains. Soil at Midville is a Dothan loamy sand, and at Plains a Greenville sandy clay loam. The standard fertility practices at each location were: Tifton: 600 lbs/A of 3-9-18 preplant incorporated (PPI) and 60 lbs/ A sidedress N Midville: 372 lbs/A of 8-8-16 PPI and 30 lbs/A sidedress N Plains: 300 lbs/A of 3-9-18 PPI and 60 lbs/A sidedress N Starter source Starters applied in the first study were 10-34-0 and 8-22-5-2S at 10 gal/A two inches to the side and two inches below the seed drill. In addition, the starter plots were split. Either no foliar applications were made or 10 lbs/A of potassium nitrate (KNO3) was applied to the foliage at bloom, two weeks later, and four weeks later. Starter fertilizer treatments used at all sites in the second study were: • 9-0-0-11 (CaNO3) at 9 gal/A • 28-0-0-5S at 10 gal/A by Drs. C. W. Bednarz and G. J. Gascho Cotton Starters Showing Potential In Coastal Plain Georgia scientists study effects of using fluid starters in combination with broiler litter often used on southeastern croplands. • 10-34-0 at 10 gal/A • 32-0-0 at 10 gal/A • 10-34-0 at 9.1 gal/A plus 32-0-0 at 6.8 gal/A (to give 34 lbs N and P2O5/A) • untreated (all starters were applied 2 by 2 below seed row). Starter fertilizers were used in these studies as a means to more efficiently distribute nitrogen (N) throughout the growing season. All treatments within a location received the same amount of N. Therefore, if additional N was applied at planting with starters, less was applied at sidedress. All studies were irrigated. Yields -- 1996 Cotton lint yield responded to broiler litter, starter fertilizer, and foliar fertilizer. Maximum lint yield was attained at a broiler litter rate of about 4 tons/A (Figure 1). The 6-ton rate began to decrease lint yield. Lint yield was increased further by applications of fluid fertilizers. Applying 10-34-0 increased lint yield 77 lbs/A, and 12-22-5-2S increased yield by 55 lbs/A (Figure 2). KNO3 sprays increased yield by 68 lbs/A Figure 1. Broiler effect on lint yield, Bednarz and Gascho, University of Georgia, 1996. 0 900 1000 1100 1200 1300 1400Lint yield-lbs/A 2 Broiler litter-tons/A 4 6
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