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Research Field Days 2015

LIVE FROM THE NCRS: Observations

So I apologize to my faithful blog followers for my absence.  But I’ve been busy, as you will see in the days to come as I try to get caught up.  So let’s step into the time machine and re-visit the past…all the way back to Friday May 29.  On that sunny day, Galynn, Dale and myself were given a look-around at the NCRS by Stephanie.  We looked around at some of the field crop experiments. Stephanie spoke slow and clear so that Galynn could follow along.  Dale is wrapped up in who knows what.  

One topic of interest is a re-visit of fertilizer application equipment, namely the Totally Tubular and Rebounder in-furrow liquid systems for planters.  For those not up to speed, the Totally Tubular applies the stream of fertilizer at the bottom of the seed furrow before the seed drops.  It is supposed to place it such that a small amount of soil is between the seed and the band, but it’s often right in the band.  The Rebounder applies the fertilizer from the top of a seed firmer through a Y tube such that the fertilizer is above and on either side of the seed.  There is greater safety with the Rebounder, but the Tube enables quicker fertilizer contact.  What to use?  Hmmm.  Well several years of previous research at the NCRS has shown slightly higher corn yields with the Tube, using AgroLiquid of course.  But questions still arise, mainly about fertilizer safety.  So here is an early look at some plots where different rates of Pro-Germinator were applied with both types of applicators.  I usually like to wait till experiment completion before showing results, but I think there’s a point here.  This was on Farm 3 which has light soil, with a CEC of only 5.  Injury potential is greater in light textured soils.


Plots were planted on May 6, around 3 weeks before the pictures. The cold after planting delayed emergence, but look good now. All plots had some Kalibrate, Micro 500 and High NRG-N applied 2×2.  This plot had no in-furrow fertilizer.

 This plot had 5 gal/A of Pro-Germinator with the Totally Tubular.  It is obviously better than the no fertilizer plot above.  Plots are 6 rows wide, and the stake is in the middle.  So you can count over and see the previous plot on the left.

 This plot had 5 gal/A of Pro-Germinator with the Rebounder.  It is not as big as the above plot, due to faster fertilizer access from Totally Tubular placement.

 This plot had 10 gal/A with the Totally Tubular.

 This plot had 10 gal/A with the Rebounder.  Now it might be a little taller than the above as the rate is getting higher.  But both have good emergence and stand.

 This plot had 20 gal/A through the Totally Tubular.  The stand seems to be there, but it is definitely behind.  Early and later stand counts are taken on all plots.  You can see the stakes further down the way where stand counts are taken.

 This plot had 20 gal/A with the Rebounders.  It’s pretty remarkable how good it looks from such a high rate.  But the fertilizer is not applied in contact with the seed.  And also this rate would also have 20 lb/A of Nitrogen which would help with the green up.  So applicators can have differences and it is something to consider, particularly in stress conditions.  You can see the previous treatment to the left. All of these treatments were replicated five times in this experiment and will be harvested for effects on yield.

 And look who we saw getting started with the side-dress applications.  None other than Field Agronomy Research Manager Tim.

 Here he goes on another corn experiment.  We sure like the Hagie and the Nitrogen Tool Bar.

We are also testing a new side-dress nitrogen application system: the Y-Drop from 360 Yield Center.  This makes surface applications of liquid nitrogen, but places it next to the row.  It is supposed to have better root access than in the middle of the row where most surface hose applications are made.  We have shown that soil injection of side-dressed N is better than surface apps, but we will see how this does.  We received quite a few questions about this, so made arrangements to test it.  That’s why we are here, after all.  Stephanie sent me these pics from their application last Wednesday.  You can see how the hoses place the fertilizer on both sides of the row.  Pretty cool.

You can see the nitrogen fertilizer bands.  Still needs a rain to carry it in, but the majority of the roots are right there.


So I was gone most of last week and was driving up to the NCRS on Friday, and saw blotches like this on all of the corn fields I drove by.  We did have some frost several weeks ago, and I thought this might have been left over from that.  But no, Stephanie said that it got below freezing on the morning of Tuesday, June 2.  So that is what caused this.  Interestingly, there is a popular daily agricultural radio show where a guy from Iowa (I think) was describing these symptoms on corn there, and found out it too was from the cold.  So it was pretty wide-spread.

So this should kind of bring you up to date.  Surely there is more….so stay tuned.

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Nitrogen Comparisons in Furrow-Irrigated Corn Real Farm Research. Aurora, NE

Experiment Info 13-308

Planted: 4/28
Variety: NK68B
Population: 32,000
Row Spacing: 30”
Previous Crop: Soybeans
Plot Size: 4 rows x 153’
Replications: 2
PRE: 4/296
Harvested: 10/27

Soil Test Values (ppm)

pH: 7.1
CEC: 25
% OM: 3.3
Bray P1: 33
K: 406
S: 20
% K: 4.2
% Mg: 8
% Ca: 88
% H: 0
Zn: 1.55
Mn: 87.3


Compare different nitrogen sources and rates for effects on corn yield. Performance of nitrogen sources may vary by location in the country. This experiment was set up to evaluate performance of several sources of UAN solutions applied broadcast after planting in South Central Nebraska. The standard N source for the area is fall applied anhydrous ammonia. The target N rate was 200 lb-N/A. Two rates of High NRG-N were applied: 40 and 47 gal/A which represent approximately 60 and 70% of the total standard N rate used. There has been some interest in the combination of UAN/eNhance and High NRG-N. This is thought to perhaps enable faster N response plus extended N usability into the season. One product was evaluated as an additive to the UAN treatment: S-Calate. This was to evaluate the effects of added sulfur and calcium at the time of N application. Yield results appear in the chart.


• Highest overall yield was with the 47 gal/A of High NRG-N. This treatment applied only 135 actual pounds of N compared to the standard 200 lb N rate with anhydrous ammonia and 32% UAN.

• Yields produced with the lower rate of High NRG-N, N Blend, 32% UAN/enhance + S-Calate were also significantly higher than that with the 32% UAN.

• The AgroLiquid treatments enabled higher corn yields than with the conventional treatments, but with less applied N which is good for faster application as well as less fertilizer applied to the environment.
• High NRG-N is suited for broadcast applications in this drier climate typical of Nebraska.

Soybean Fertilizer Programs in a Permanent Plot Rotation (13-714)

Experiment Info: 13-714

Planted: 5/17
Variety: Stine 22RC62
Population: 155,000
Row Spacing: 15”
Previous Crop: Corn
Plot Size: 15’ X 210’
Replications: 4
Potash: Fall 2011
Foliar: 7/2
Harvested: 10/11

Soil Test Values (ppm):

pH: 6.1
CEC: 11.6
% OM: 2.5
Bray P1: 13
K: 118
S: 9
% K: 1.3
% Mg: 17.4
% Ca: 65.8
%H: 13.8
% Na: 0.4
Zn: 1.3
Mn: 8
B: 0.4


To compare fertilizer programs for effects on soybean yield in a long-term continuous corn/soybean rotation. This year marks the third year in a long-term study comparing fertilizer programs in a corn/soybean
rotation. Each fertilizer program remains “permanent” within the plot area and from year to year. This allows for evaluation of fertilizer effects from each program and the impact each has on soil test levels. For the soybean part of this experiment there are four main fertility programs being compared to meet the yield goal of 60 bu/A: two Agro-Culture Liquid Fertilizers programs and two conventional programs. The first AgroLiquid program applied according to the soil test was 5 gal/A Sure-K with 1 qt/A Micro 500 applied in-furrow with Rebounder seed firmer with split fertilizer applicators. The second program was a foliar application 3 gal/A Sure-K with 1 qt/A MicroLink Manganese applied at the V4 stage of growth. Conventional programs were two rates of muriate of potash (0-0-62) applied in the fall following the previous soybean harvest in 2011. Two programs are being compared, the standard program according to soil test was applied at a rate of 200 lbs/A. A second program rate of 20 lbs/A was applied to match actual pounds of potassium provided by the Sure-K application. Yield results appear on the following chart.


• All fertilizer programs increased soybean yield over that of the untreated check.

• The planter applied AgroLiquid program exceeded the yield goal with an average yield of 66.2 bu/A.

• Similar yield was achieved with both rates of potash, yielding 63 bu/A. It is expected that as this experiment continues, yield with the low rate of potash will not be sustainable.

• Highest yield was obtained with a foliar application of Sure-K and Manganese, which was significantly higher than any other treatment.


Potassium Rate and Placement Comparison in Soybeans (13-508)

Experiment Info13-508

Planted: 6/3
Variety: Stine 19RA02
Population: 140,000
Row Spacing: 30”
Previous Crop: Wheat
Plot Size: 15’x290/310’
Replications: 4
Foliar 1: 7/19
Foliar 2: 7/31
Harvested: 10/3

Soil Test Values (ppm)

pH: 7.4
CEC: 7.7
% OM: 1.6
Bicarb P: 21
K: 47
S: 8
% K: 1.6
% Mg: 21.5
% Ca: 75.8
% H: 0
% Na: 1.1
Zn: 1
Mn: 6
B: 0.5


To compare rate and placement options for potassium needs for 30” row Soybeans. Placing nutrients in a band close to the seed has always been an efficient use of applied nutrients. When nutrient recommendations exceed in-furrow placement limits then other options are needed. Other options may include 2×2 or part of the total in-furrow and the remainder foliar applied. AgroLiquid has partnered with AgXcel to build a new experimental option to place part of the total nutrients needed in-furrow and the remainder placed behind the planter press wheels on top of the soil and one inch to either side of the seed (0x1). The “AgXcel” treatment placed 3 gal/A in-furrow (maximum allowed rate for 30” rows) and the remaining 7 gal/A on the soil surface. The AgXcel equipment uses orifices to split the nutrient stream into the two different required rates.


• Drier than normal growing conditions limited yield.

• All three placement comparisons resulted in similar yields.

• The 2×2 placement is a very safe way to band apply large amount of nutrients with the planter in 30” rows.

• Sure-K placed on the soil surface with the AgXcel option showed a slight non-significant yield increase over 2×2 and in-furrow with foliar placement.

• Future work with AgXcel could provide a new option for planter nutrient placement.

Soybean Fertilizer Rates and Placement in 15” rows (13-309)

Experiment Info13-309

Planted: 5/15
Variety: Pion. 92Y53
Population: 140,000
Row Spacing: 15”
Previous Crop: corn
Plot Size: 15’x180/210×130
Replications: 5
Harvested: 10/11

Soil Test Values (ppm)

CEC: 6.5
% OM: 1.8
Bicarb P: 9
K: 76
S: 11
% K: 3.0
% Mg: 16.4
% Ca: 79.6
% H: 0
% Na: 1.0
Zn: 1.0
Mn: 4
B: 0.6


To observe the effect of varying fertilizer rates and placement on yield of soybeans in 15” row spacing. Treatments were planted into no-till corn stalks on May 16th with a Kinze planter equipped with interplant row units. The Kinze planter includes both in-furrow Totally Tubular and in-furrow Rebounder’s with split stream application. Totally Tubular places nutrients on the bottom of the seed trench before the seed is placed in the furrow. Rebounders place nutrients over the top of the seed and to either side with the split stream. Soil conditions were ideal at time of planting. Three fertilizer rates, 5 GPA, 7 GPA and 9 GPA, were used. Each rate consisted of 50% Pro-Germinator and 50% Sure-K and applied through either of the two application methods. A no planter fertilizer check was also included for comparisons.


• The Rebounder with split stream applications and placement above the seed appears to be safer at higher rates.

• Yields were reduced when higher rates were applied through the Totally Tubular option. These reductions were not significant between rates.

• With good moisture Agro-Culture Liquid Fertilizer recommends: a maximum in-furrow nutrition of 3 gal/A for 30” rows and a maximum in-furrow nutrition of 7 gal/A for 15” rows.

Planter Fertilizer Methods of Application in Corn (13-1004)

Experiment Info13-1004

Planted: 5/9
Variety: P0216HR
Population: 32,500
Row Spacing: 30”
Previous Crop: Soybeans
Plot Size: 15’ x 800’
Replications: 3
Sidedress: 6/15
Harvested: 10/23

Soil Test Values (ppm)

pH: 6.8
CEC: 9.7
% OM: 1.9
Bray P1: 8
K: 77
S: 10
% K: 31
% Mg: 22.3
% Ca: 74.7
%H: 0
% Na: 1.0
Zn: 0.8
Mn: 5
B: 0.5


To compare planter fertilizer methods of application on yields in corn. Typical methods of planter fertilizer applications have always involved placing nutrients into the soil profile. One application method referred to as 0x1 involves placing the nutrients in a narrow band on the soil surface and one inch to the side of the seed placement. This setup is very easy to install on a planter. It involves a stainless tube mounted behind the press wheels and your typical pump supply system. Some previous testing of 0x0 has been conducted at the NCRS in the past. This experiment is comparing the 0x1 placement to an in-furrow placement using the same nutrients and rates.


• Very dry late season conditions resulted in lower than expected yields.

• The small 1 bu/A yield advantage of the in-furrow treatment over the 0x1 shows how close these placement methods are.

• The 0x1 treatment shows positive results as a viable option for nutrient placement. Continued testing will occur at the NCRS.

Pro-Germinator In-Furrow Rate Comparison in Corn (13-802)

Experiment Info13-802a

Planted: 5/9
Variety: P0216HR
Population: 31,500
Row Spacing: 30”
Previous Crop: Corn
Plot Size: 15’ x 530’
Replications: 4
Sidedress: 6/15
Harvested: 10/22

Soil Test Values (ppm)

pH: 6.1
CEC: 10.8
% OM: 2.4
Bray P1: 24
K: 128
S: 10
% K: 3.0
% Mg: 18.5
% Ca: 63.7
%H: 14.4
% Na: 0.4
Zn: 0.9
Mn: 9
B: 0.4


To compare in-furrow rates of Pro-Germinator in Corn. Pro-Germinator is a highly effective nutrient product delivering both ortho and poly forms of phosphorus, giving plants an early and steady availability. An in-furrow band application provides nutrients where they are needed most. Pro-Germinator is balanced with nitrogen, potassium and micro nutrients for excellent performance. This experiment tested increasing rates of Pro-Germinator to see its results on corn yield. A no planter fertilizer treatment was used for comparison. Rates of 2.5, 3.5 and 4.5 gpa were used as treatments along with Micro 500 at a rate of 2 qt/A in each treatment. With the high soil test value of 24 ppm of P1, the recommendation for this would be 2.5 gpa in-furrow for a yield goal of 175 bu/A. Yield results appear in the chart below.


• Growing conditions were very dry into the growing season as such, we did not reach our yield goal. But there was an increase in yield as the rate of Pro-Germinator was increased.

• All three rates of Pro-Germinator had a significant yield advantage over the no planter fertilizer treatment.

• Data confirms, along with past research, that even in higher phosphorus soils, there is a benefit of 3-4 gpa of Pro-Germinator planter applied.

• It is likely that the Pro-Germinator increased root volume that enabled better yield in the dry growing conditions.