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Fluid Journal : Fluid Journal 2002-2004
Early Spring 2004 Surface Banding Effective for Corn Starter FFF Review Mounting evidence shows surface dribbling starter plus N and P closer to plantroots than broadcasting. Fluid Journal S urface banding of nitrogen (N) or NPKs mixes has been recognized as being more effective than broadcasting solids or the same fluid materials, especially in high residue crops such as grass, wheat, corn, and sorghum. Such improved performance means greater penetration of surface residues, lower N loss by ammonia volatilization, less foliar burn, and diminished P fixation. Over the past few years, a greater appreciation of the effectiveness of surface banding starters on row crops in reduced-till has led to a reexamination of the factors involved in surface banding. Because starter placement beside and below the seed requires an opener, and as planting equipment has increased in size, growers frequently opt not to hang more steel on already heavy equipment. Thus, a disinclination by growers to use starters. However, more recent research has shown that the substantial advantages of using starters in reduced-till do not need to be lost because of a lack of openers. Certainly, low salt index starters in direct seed contact are effective and do not require openers. But research also shows that surface banding fluid NPKS starters to the side of the row also can be very effective. High N High N formulations have been shown to have a key role in starter responses in high residue systems. Recent 1 research in Kansas and Iowa (Tables 1 and 2) has confirmed that such high N to P2O5 ratios (1:1 or greater) have much to do with plant uptake of phosphorus (P). Higher plant P concentrations and higher uptake at the V-6 stage were confirmed, even with high P-testing soils. High concentrations of ammonium-N in the starter band have two likely effects on P availability and uptake: diminished P fixation and enhanced physiological uptake of P. However, a word of caution. High N starters produced from blending UAN or urea with other solutions cannot be placed in direct seed contact because of the potential for germination damage from urea hydrolysis. Urea inhibitors such as Agrotain could be added to the Figure 1. Effect of varying starter N rates and placement methods on corn yields, Mulford University of Maryland. Figure 2. Surface banding (dribble 2 x 0) of high N starter has been very effective for reduced-till corn; banding over row has been less effective, cordon, Kansas State University.
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