Nitrogen placement is important

(CIFN file photo)

Planter-applied fertility is showing some real benefits.

This allows for perfect placement at the right time when nitrogen begins to fan out in the soil in a concentrated band on both sides of plants. This keeps corn as green and healthy as possible.

“We are going to be three inches to either side of that seedling and an inch to inch and a half below the surface,” explains Eric Huber with Precision Planting.

Consistency of a plant stand is important along with how well residue is managed. Fewer nitrogen passes or a straight broadcast type of application can cause issues in a field. Fall applied nitrogen risks getting some of that nitrogen lower in the soil profile.

“Weed and feed applications are an amazing thing to be doing and a great benefit,” noted Huber.

Applying fertility in the spring with a planter really becomes an insurance policy that takes the same pounds of nitrogen but splits it in a more opportune place and time to get the plant going.

This is the time of year when we shift our focus from getting every plant up and out of the ground to monitoring growth above ground and examining the visuals in a field.

“One of the things I’ve noticed driving around is some yellowing of corn and a little bit of unevenness in the stand,” said Huber.

This leads growers to think about nutrient management and how they can manage risk a little more when feeding a crop. Some noticed the ugly corn stage this month when the seedling root begins to run out of reserves.

An exciting summer of research is planned at the Precision Planting PTI Farm at Pontiac which opens up for tours in late July running through early September. Huber said they are starting to see how the same tools used for fertility on corn also lead to exciting responses from soybeans.

Various fertility studies have been conducted at the farm. This is the third year of a study looking at a nitrogen and sulfur combination.

“We are seeing four to eight bushels in soybeans in some of those instances over the last couple of years,” explained Huber.

Different tillage practices and irrigation trials have been conducted as well. The PTI farm will once again allow visitors to come out and operate different pieces of farm equipment.

More information can be obtained from your local Precision Planting dealer or by visiting

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