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Fluid Journal : Fluid Journal 1999-2001
Spring 2001 Fluid Journal 1 Summary: Research from the past decade verifies the improved efficiency gained from banding fertilizers. The use of this practice on a variety of crops will be reviewed as well as the advantages of using fluid fertilizers, owing to their superior handling qualities and practical efficiencies. Four objectives usually involved in the placement of fertilizers are 1) increase the efficiency of fertilizer use by plants, 2) prevent or reduce environmental contamination, 3) prevent fertilizer salt injury to plants, and 4) provide an economical and convenient operation. Many factors, including banding, come into play to achieve all these objectives. To a large extent, environmental conditions dictate whether or not precision placement of nutrients will be successful. Another factor includes soil conditions (pH, texture, organic matter content, cation exchange capacity, moisture content, and nutrient soil test levels). Generally, producers are more interested in final yield than crop cultural characteristics. However, the increased early growth experienced with precision placement has proven an advantage to maintaining an even crop and helping strengthen young plants against early season stresses brought about by numerous factors, including tillage and the environment. Research has shown that if nitrogen and phosphorus are placed in a band together in proximity to the root system the plant will be better able to take up both nutrients. Research has further Dr. Raun Lohry When Banding, Fluids Are The Way To Go Formulated to meet crop needs for macro-and micronutrients, with every drop having the same analysis, fluid fertilizers offer distinct advantages. shown that fluid fertilizers offer distinct advantages in banding. They can be easily formulated to meet crop needs, with every drop the same analysis. They are easily pumped from transport vehicle to application machinery. A variety of equipment is available to band apply fluids. They are readily available to plants since they are predominantly in soluble forms. We'll look at some of the positive responses reported by researchers from banding fluids. Corn Work on corn and nitrogen placement usually concentrates on volatilization characteristics of urea-based fertilizers. In 1993, Stecker et al. reported on the interactive effects of fertilizer application and placement method by applying UAN in no-till corn. The experimental design was a complete factorial of an application time (preplant and sidedress), placement method (knife, dribble, and broadcast), and rate (60, 120, and 180 lbs/A of N). Knife injected N increased yields relative to broadcast and dribble in five of eight site years. Yields from knifed N ranged from 4 to 20 percent more than dribble and 5 to 40 percent more than broadcast (Figure 1). In two site years, sidedress resulted in lower grain yields and application time had no effect on grain yield. No interaction of application was apparent, as knife injection was superior to broadcast and dribble at both application times. This suggested that N loss associated with surface application of urea-based N sources was similar for preplant and sidedress application times. The researchers reported higher yields from injected N (relative to broadcast and dribble N) were likely due to reduced ammonia volatilization and immobilization losses. Dribble N on the soil surface did not result in a marked improvement in grain yield compared to broadcast. While others have shown improved grain yields from dribbling UAN onto the soil surface, relative to broadcast, data from this study did not indicate any consistent improvement in crop performance from this placement method. Wheat In Southern Great Plains wheat is a dual-purpose crop with winter pasture and grain production both being of great importance to farmers and ranchers. Therefore, fertilizer management to enhance early forage production is of near equal importance to practices that optimize grain yield. Late August through early October is typically a high rainfall period so wheat is planted early to optimize vegetative growth. This rapid early growth tends to deplete surface moisture. It is here where conventional fertilizer applications present a problem because of the concentration of nutrients at the surface. As the soil dries out, root activity decreases at the surface and access to non-mobile elements such as phosphorus is limited due to reduced root growth. Beef cattle production is the largest agricultural enterprise in the Southern Great Plains. The potential for enhanced forage yields and the resultant increase in current capacity under drought
Fluid Journal 1996-1998
Fluid Journal 2002-2004