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Fluid Journal : Fluid Journal 2002-2004
What about potassium (K) in these surface starter bands? Purdue research has shown that surface banded K fol- lowed by tillage can be highly effective and more efficient than broadcast, even at modest K rates. We don't have much information on just how effective starter surface banding is for K but we do know that K in starters with conven- tional placement under reduced-till even on high K-testing soils is very impor- tant in helping offset early-season stresses. Maybe high ammonium con- centrations can offset K adsorption by clays and enhance K mobility. That's a guess! Information is scarce on this subject. However, for the small invest- ment in K that can go in a high-N starter, keep it in the mix even with sur- face bands with no incorporation. FALL SURFACE BANDING Fall surface banding of suspensions (or clear liquids) for corn and beans rep- resents another means of achieving the benefits of P banding along with appli- cations of large amounts of K (suspen- sions). Purdue research (mentioned above) provided the foundation for this type of placement and demonstrated improved availability of both P and K under Corn Belt conditions. It is interesting to speculate if high concentrations of K, plus some ammonium-N, could have synergistic effects on slowing P fixation reactions in such bands and possibly influence vertical P movement. Cer- tainly, concentrations of nutrients are higher in these retention zones. In any event, this method of P and K applica- tion has proven to be highly effective and is a proven means of improving corn and bean yields. 3 Fluid Journal Fall 2003
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