Sidedress Anhydrous Without Compromising No-Till

New nutrient applicators allow for sidedressing anhydrous and other nitrogen solutions with minimal soil disturbance, maximum efficiency

Destructive trails left by a shank and knife anhydrous applicator are fodder for no-tiller nightmares. But new low-disturbance applicators mean no-tillers can slip the cost-effective nitrogen source into the ground and leave barely a mark.

This throws the door — and the application window — wide open for no-tillers looking to take advantage of sidedress applications. A couple of newer tools that may aid no-tillers are the John Deere 2510H nutrient applicator and the Dawn Model 6000 Anhydra fertilizer applicator.

Less Soil Disturbance

“When we first started working on the 2510H applicator, we wanted to enable high-speed application that would perform well for sidedress operations,” says David Wendt, John Deere nutrient applicator product manager.

The result was a single-disc opener for anhydrous application that creates such minimal disturbance, it can be used to sidedress from planting through late in the growing season.

“With a shank applicator, you had to wait until the crop was tall enough or risk covering the growing crop. And if you wanted to speed up application, that risk only grew,” Wendt explains. “The single-disc opener cuts residue and creates a slot to inject anhydrous without blowing up the soil. No-till planters can cause more soil disturbance than the 2510H applicator.”

Fort Wayne, Ind., no-tiller Ellis McFadden tried to achieve similar results with his old anhydrous applicator, but couldn’t fix all the problems.

He was using mole knives with Yetter Maverick openers that utilized parallel linkage instead of a spring-loaded knife or shank. He added a covering…

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