To evaluate the advantages of a Sure-K foliar application on soybean yield. Agro-Culture Liquid Fertilizers foliar program containing Sure-K has shown continuous yield response over the past year. However, many factors such as soil test levels, environmental conditions and timing play a role in yield response. In 2013 four experiments at the NCRS looked at the benefit of a foliar application of Sure-K compared to an untreated check. These yield
results were also added into a long running summary from around the mid-west that compared the same treatments. With the four experiments from 2013, the summary now includes yield results from 150 experiments from the NCRS, contact research sites and grower’s fields in four different states. 2013 yield and summaries appear on the table below.
• Soil test levels, weather conditions and other factors may influence yield response. Not every comparison shows a benefit.
• In 2013, there is a just over a 2 bu/A yield benefit to a Sure-K foliar application from the 4 locations. However, one location saw a loss, one was nearly even and one had a 10 bu/A increase so there was a lot of variability from one location to the next.
• 150 locations throughout the Midwest from 1997 to date has shown over a 4 bu/A yield increase with foliar applications of Sure-K.
To compare long-term yield response to soybean fertilizer programs. For the past three years, four fertilizer programs and an untreated check have been compared in a permanent corn/soybean rotation. In both the corn and soybean years, each treatment remains in the same 15’ x 210’ plot within the experiment along with the same location from year to year. With this, comparisons can be made on long-term effects of fertilizer programs on
crop yield along with observing changes in soil test levels. In the soybean part of this experiment fertilizer programs were set up to reach a yield goal of 60 bu/A. With soil test recommendation calling 0-0-82 for 60 bu/A soybeans, the following programs were set.
• All fertilizer programs increased soybean yield over the untreated check and greatly exceeded the set yield goal of 60 bu/A. (Note: Soybean yields in 2012 were exceptionally high)
• After three years of testing, there is little difference between the two rates of potash. In the first years the low rate of potash was yielding higher than the recommended¸ however, over time this program yield is not holding up. It is expected that in future years, that this program will begin to yield closer to the untreated check.
• After three years, the AgroLiquid programs are yielding over 7 bu/A higher than the untreated check.
• Both the planter and foliar applied AgroLiquid programs have similar 3 year average yields. This is consistent with what we have seen in previous long-term fertilizer program studies.
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.
To compare different nutritional sources as foliar applications on soybeans. The application of foliar products should be based on a soil test need which, sometimes, is also to correct a deficiency symptom. The use of ferti-Rain, a well-balanced foliar nutrition, has shown very good results in previous years of testing at the NCRS. This experiment included a ferti-Rain only, ferti-Rain plus Protriastim (PTS), Pro-Germinator and Fase2 treatments. PTS is
a protein cell carrier with a tri-alcohol growth stimulant that boosts the crops ability to store energy which can result in quicker maturity. Fase2 contains N, P and K however it is specifically designed to be foliar applied in orchard crops. So the Fase2 treatment is strictly an experiment. (Note: Due to the high soil test K, the usual soybean foliar Sure-K was not included here). The following table shows the results from this experiment.
• All foliar treatments provided a significant yield advantage over the no foliar treatment.
• Fase2, Pro-Germinator and Protriastim (PTS) all performed well and had a larger yield than ferti-Rain. This yield advantage was not significant.
• Foliar feeding soybeans can provide yield benefits. Choose your nutrients based on soil test needs.
To evaluate different planter-applied Sure-K rates on soybean yield. The analysis of Sure-K can be of concern of to growers who are used to higher analysis products. However the technology within Sure-K allows it to be more usable to the crop than other potassium sources. This is backed by years of research at the North Central Research Station that proves similar results. This experiment compared increasing rates of Sure-K from 3 gal/A to 12 gal/A to help determine what the most efficient rate is. The site for this experiment is low in potassium with 69 ppm and 1.8% base saturation and is a corn soybean rotation with the same rate comparison for each crop: 3, 6, 9 and 12 gal/A. See the 2012 Research Report of corn yields, 2013 soybean yield results appear on the chart below.
• The addition of Sure-K increased soybean yield by over 4 bu/A.
• There was a slight yield advantage to foliar applied Sure-K over a planter program at the same rate per acre. This is similar to past research results.
• Highest yield was achieved with the 3 gal/A rate of Sure-K, no additional yield was reached when increasing the rate of Sure-K.
• Similarly, in 2012 maximum corn yield was achieved with the 6 gal/A rate of Sure-K.
• In both years the maximum yield was similar to the conventional potash treatment. This proves the performance of Sure-K and supports that the technology behind the product increases the efficiency making it more usable to the plant.
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.
To compare nutrient programs when used in combination with and without manure applications. The North Central Research Station has applied diary manure to areas of this particular field for 16 straight years. The crop for the previous 15 years has been continuous corn. The experiment is divided into 4 sections, 2 sections have no manure applied, 1 section receives a 20 ton/A application in the fall and the fourth section receives an application in the fall and spring for a 40 ton/A total. Fall applications are chisel plowed into the soil, while spring applications are applied to spring tilled soil and then tilled with a soil finisher for soil incorporation. Soil samples were taken again last fall to continually observe the changes in soil tests. This year soybeans were planted on half of the treatment areas to observe manure applications and soil test nutrient levels on this crop. Nutrients were applied according to soil test recommendations with the no manure section needing the higher rates of nutrients.
• Both manure application timings had a significant yield advantage over no manure.
• Phosphorus applications are not needed for soybeans with manure applications.
• Maintain accurate soil tests and follow recommendations for supplemental nutrients.
• Manure applications reduce the need for additional nutrients.
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.
Can you side-dress more than nitrogen? Yes you can.
Side dressing is an effective and efficient way to provide in-season nitrogen to growing crops, but nitrogen isn’t the only nutrient that can be side dressed. Most crops use a variety of nutrients throughout the growing season, and supplying those along with nitrogen in your side dress application is a good way to make sure your crop has the all fertilizer it needs, when it needs it most.
Can you grow your crop without the expense of fertilizer additives? Yes you can.
Making smart decisions about input expenses is one of the best ways to manage your risk. Fertilizer can account for as much as 40% of crop yield so you don’t want to leave your plant nutrition program to chance. AgroLiquid products are exhaustively researched, both on the largest plant nutrition research farm in the country and at locations across the nation. No additives needed! Watch the video for more info.