Corn planter fertilizer placement

Experiment Info

Planted: 5/9/2011
Variety: Pioneer 9807
Population: 36,000
Previous Crop: Soybeans
Plot Size: 15′ x 115′
Replications: 4
Sidedress: 6/8/2011
Harvested: 10/25/2011

 

Soil Test Values (ppm)

pH: 7.0
CEC: 7.5
% OM: 1.6
Bicarb: 18
K: 71
S: 6
% K: 2.4
% Mg: 24.8
% Ca: 71.8
% H: 0
% Na: 1.0
Zn: 1.5
Mn: 8
B: 0.6

Objective:

Compare different placements of Liquid fertilizer (3 gal/A Pro-Germinator + 7 gal/A Sure-K + 2 qt/A Micro 500) for effects on corn yield.

There are various placement options for liquid fertilizers such as (1) 2×2 placement and in-furrow placement. In-furrow also presents some options, such as on a (2) seed fi rmer/cover with the fertilizer tube split into a Y at the end (3) an in-furrow tube that places the fertilizer in the bottom of the furrow prior to seed drop. An issue that can arise in wet spring conditions like this year is that some growers get concerned about just fi nishing planting before more rain occurs and don’t bother putting on any planter fertilizer. Then after emergence they become concerned about lack of fertilizer and wonder if they should put some on at sidedress (4), or just do nothing (5). An experiment was conducted to evaluate these five different placement options. (Note: sidedress fertilizer for all was 21 gal/A High NRG-N + 28 gal/A 28% + eNhance.) Pictures of fertilizer placement and average placement yield appear in the following picture.

Corn Planter Fertilizer PlacementConclusions:

  • All fertilizer applications resulted in a yield increase over no P and K fertilizer.
  • The highest yield was with the tube and the seed firmer.
  • The application with sidedress was lower than the planter-time applications, but was much better than forgoing application due to it being 30 days after planting.
Some of the planter-applied treatments from 2011 were also applied in a similar experiment in 2010 (10-710a). The two-year average would suggest an advantage for the tube in-furrow placement. But both the tube and the seed firmer resulted in a better overall yield than that of the 2x2 placement, likely due to the earlier access to the row-placed crop nutrition.
Some of the planter-applied treatments from 2011 were also applied in a similar experiment in 2010 (10-710a). The two-year average would suggest an advantage for the tube in-furrow placement. But both the tube and the seed firmer resulted in a better overall yield than that of the 2×2 placement, likely due to the earlier access to the row-placed crop nutrition.