Are Starters Really Helping Your No-Till

A simple question about using starter fertilizers set off a long string of postings recently on the No-Till Farmer Web site. No-tillers also were inquiring about problems with fertilizer pumps and one person wanted to find out if he should buy a weight transfer system. If you are looking for a place to share your thoughts, ideas or philosophies, please visit

Starters — Feast Or Famine?

I use an old 7000 John Deere no-till planter, which is set up with all the Nu-Till hardware except for the drag chains and the Keeton in-furrow starter fertilizer attachments. What should I be putting in the furrow with the seed?

What kind of results are other no-tillers getting compared to banding starter off to the side in a 2-by-2-inch placement? I assume this setup requires an electric pump somewhere. How do you rig all this up?


If you are using the true Nu-Till system you will be putting Clean Start starter with Grozime in the furrow. Our field trials last year with Clean Start averaged about a 2-bushel advantage over using no starter fertilizer at all. We were disappointed to say the least, but it was only one year and a very odd year because of weather conditions. We use a CDS squeeze pump for our starter, but an electric pump would also work.

—Cliff Seia,

How important do you think it is to have in-furrow starter with no-till? I have a friend that used it in his tillage operation…

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