Timing & Types of Fertilizer Accommodate Seasonal Need

Strip-tillers shying away from spring-applied potassium and phosphorus, as well as anhydrous application with the strip-till rig.

Strip-tillers often stress the 4R strategy for fertilizer placement, acknowledging that sometimes conditions aren’t always conducive to achieving desired results. 

Being able to adapt and improve a fertility program is a constant evolution. While it won’t eliminate all of the variables that can influence root structure, plant growth or nutrient uptake — a flexible strategy can at least better manage them.

Results of the 5th Annual Strip-Till Operational Practices Benchmark Study continued several fertilizer application timing trends, as well as shifts in the types of nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P) and potassium (K) being applied. 

The most popular placement of fertilizer applied with the strip-till rig was banded below the berm (70.3%), consistent with prior years. Banding nutrients is cited by many strip-tillers as a motivation for adopting the practice. 

Another 33.7% reported mixing fertilizer into the berm during a strip-till pass, and 3.2% applied fertilizer between the berms in 2017, consistent with prior years. 

The number of strip-tillers using dry fertilizer boxes continued to increase, with 66.4% utilizing a mounted or pull-type system in 2017, compared to 63.4% in 2016. Since 2014, usage of dry fertilizer application systems has increased 10% according to benchmark study data. 

A consistently high percentage of strip-tillers owned their own self-propelled or pull-type sprayer in 2017, at 87.2% compared to 88.3% in 2016. This total was higher than the 76.3% of no-tillers who own either a self-propelled or pull-type sprayer according to No-Till Farmer’s Annual Operational Practices Benchmark study. 

Also consistent was the percentage of…

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Jack Zemlicka

Jack Zemlicka is the Technology Editor for No-Till Farmer. He covers precision farming practices, products and trends, which can improve efficiency and productivity for no-till farmers.

He joined Lessiter Publications Ag Division in 2012 and also serves as managing editor of Strip-Till Farmer.

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