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Running a nitrogen (N) applicator bar ahead of planting reduces Arlington, Iowa, no-tiller Tim Recker’s N use and increases his operational efficiency. Precise split applications of N allow Recker to put down just 0.7 units of N per bushel of corn and achieve yields averaging in the 225s.
“We’ve been doing no-till and cover crops for 10 years, and we see a 2% increase every year with no-till,” Recker says. “We haven’t gone backward compared to when we did full-width tillage. We can achieve high yield and high conservation.”
Recker and his brother farm 1,500 acres of corn, soybeans and seed corn. They’re typically a 50-50 rotation of corn and soybeans, with 100% of acres rotated every year. The Unverferth NutriMax 1400 applicator bar runs across all of their corn acres ideally 3-4 days before planting, a unique pre-plant use of the bar that helps prevent N loss and spoon-feed the crop.
“We can’t control Mother Nature, but we can control how much N we put on,” Recker says. “We’re getting smarter with the placement technology and the whole life cycle in the soil.”
The 40-foot, 14-row bar streams 32% N from a 1,400-gallon tank pulled behind the bar. Using a bolt-on drop hose kit from Unverferth, the bar puts down 12 gallons of liquid N on each side of the row next to where the planter will place the seed.
“With technology, I’m able to plant right between that 6-inch ribbon,” Recker says. “I used to spray…