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Fluid Journal : Fluid Journal 1999-2001
1 Fluid Journal Spring 2000 Summary: Results from the first year of a three-year study show that while seed row placement of fluid fertilizer in a narrow band reduced crop establishment and dry matter accumulation of spring wheat, the crop was capable of compensating for this injury Thus, no grain yield difference was observed at harvest. However, with barley and canola, fertilizer placement close to the seed resulted in damage that persisted through to harvest. Little or no difference was recorded in crop establishment or yield when the fertilizer blend was preplant banded, side banded or dribble banded next to the seed row on the soil surface. Where performance of the surface-applied dribble band was inferior to in-soil bands, end effect was similar for both fluid and dry blends. Results from the first year of this study indicate that surface dribble bands of solution fertilizer blends (N,P,S) were equivalent to in-soil preplant and side- band applications. At Melfort, no difference was recorded in seedling N,P,S concentration. This was reflected in similar final grain yield and grain N, P S concentrations. Rapid expansion in the acreage of crops using no-till seeding in Western Canada has increased interest in using fluid fertilizers in surface dribble bands applied close to the crop row at seeding. Principal reason for using by Drs. Adrian M. Johnston and Cynthia Grant What About 'One-Pass' Fertilization/Seeding? Canadian studies with liquids show minimal effect on wheat germination and maintenance of yields. Not so with barley and canola. fluids and this type of placement is to allow for shallow seeding on soils that do not flow smoothly around openers, and avoid excessive soil disturbance common with openers that place a fertilizer band below and to the side of the seed. Other benefits from using fluids include: 1) ease of adapting single-shoot airseeders, thereby avoiding investment in a new air delivery system to double-shoot seed and fertilizer, 2) reduced draft requirement in the absence of banding, and 3) lower risk of seedling damage from inadequate seed/fertilizer separation. While many farmers start with a solution band of N alone, they soon move to a complete blend (N, P, and S) to take full advantage of the convenience in product handling. While mobility of N (and to a lesser extent S) allows for easy plant access to these nutrients, soil fixation of P has been a concern to many growers when they consider surface dribbling NPS at seeding. Spring wheat and canola are the two most common crops grown in the western Canadian Parkland, each occupying approximately 25 percent of the seeded acreage. Current low crop prices have increased emphasis on yield and quality of canola and wheat to whole-farm economics. Ensuring that the canola crop has adequate nutrients Pre-seed Band 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40 45 Grain yield (bu/A) Solution Dry Side- band Dribble Band Seed Row Sweep Check Figure 1. Wheat grain yield, comparing placement and fertilizer source, Johnston, et al, Melfort, 1999.
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