No-till situation is a little different |

No-till situation is a little different

NORTH PLATTE, Neb. – Because soils sheltered by crop residue remain cooler, putting starter fertilizer down with the seed provides a real advantage in corn, said a University of Nebraska-Lincoln specialist.

“There’s more attraction of the fertilizer particle for soil water than there is for the corn seed, so we have to watch the amount of fertilizer we apply,” said Bob Klein of North Platte, UNL’s West Central Research and Extension Center cropping systems specialist. Too much fertilizer placed with the seed can result in reduced germination or injury or burning to sprouting or emerging corn plants.

In sandy soils, corn can tolerate about five pounds of salt index if the producer applies 10-34-0 fertilizer, right with the seed. That would translate to about 4.4 gallons, which provides 17 pounds of phosphorus. In fine-textured soils, salt index tolerance would be about eight pounds, or seven gallons of 10-34-0 or 27 pounds of phosphorus. That’s usually more than is needed. Twenty pounds of phosphorus is usually adequate.

Producers should never apply ammonium thiosulfate 12-0-0-26, or any other fertilizer which may evolve free ammonia under certain conditions, with any seed, Klein said.

“We can just about guarantee you will have injury by doing that,” Klein said.

Finally, if you put starter fertilizer down in a “two by two,” that is, two inches beside and two inches below the seed, you can probably use about as much fertilizer as you want, if you maintain that distance.


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