Timing is Everything
All applied N fertilizer sources eventually convert completely to the nitrate-N form. It is in this form that it is taken up by the plant. It is also in this form that nitrate-N is at risk of leaching and denitrification. Fertilizer application timing and the amounts of rainfall influence the rates of both leaching and denitrification.
One strategy to manage the risk of nitrate-N loss is to make fertilizer applications in the spring – just prior to planting (pre-plant) – or sidedress N fertilizer after planting. The main reason that pre-plant and sidedress N applications will be more efficient is that there is a shorter “window” between application and plant needs. The shorter time period means there are fewer opportunities for heavy rainfall events and nitrate-N loss.
Anhydrous losses at time of application can be minimized with knife sealers. Great Plains has designed three different sealer attachments designed to seal the knife slot to improve Nitrogen retention.
A Totally New Approach
A new approach to fertilizer application is the three-coulter option with a double row cleaner. This option allows the producer with RTK to pre-apply liquid fertilizer just prior to planting in the spring, do mild vertical tillage in the row, and clear the residue with a row cleaner. The result...precision-placed fertilizer in a clean, warm, fast-emerging seedbed for the planter to precisely plant the seed in relationship to the fertilizer. Because producer requirements and terrain vary, Nutri-Pro® is available in a three coulter system with or without 600-gallon tanks, 2-point lift assist only. (NP30/NP40 A & L - Pulltype, 3-point or 2-point lift assist; NP3000/NP4000 - 2-point lift assist only)