Starter Fertilizer Success
Starter fertilizer has become a widely used practice in today's successful farming operations. By using a starter fertilizer, small amounts of plant nutrients are placed in close proximity to the seed, typically at planting, and may result in early plant health and quicker plant growth. Most producers use a liquid form consisting of several variations including, but not limited to: 7-21-7 and 10-34-0. Rates may vary but 5-7 gallons is typical. While some growers consider liquid fertilizer applied to the soil surface as a starter, nutrients are unavailable to early seedling growth which does not constitute it as a starter. Our Totally Tubular fertilizer tube allows for the placement needed to enable a jump start in growth.
Ideal Conditions for Use
Positive results are, and have been, widely stated with the use of starter fertilizers, but not all fields are created equal. A crop's response to starter fertilizer depends on a number of factors. We are available to assist with questions but have found that fields with the following attributes tend to benefit from a starter fertilizer:
- Lower fertility levels
- Cool soil temperatures associated with early planting
- High residue cover resulting from conservative tillage situations
- Sandy soils lacking in organic matter
- Poorly-draining soils
- Soils either high or low in pH
- Prone to substantial drought
Tips for Success
If you feel your operation would benefit from a starter fertilizer keep the following in mind when applying. As long as common sense is used, your corn will thank you, and most of all, a 5% - 7% yield gain may be recognized.
- Do not apply when dry field conditions are present at the time of planting. Dry Conditions increase the potential for seed damage. Sandy soils increase this potential. Take care and evaluate each situation uniquely.
- Be cautious about applying high rates of Nitrogen with the seed. We recommend avoiding 28-0-0 and Urea.
- Take care when applying Sulfur and Boron products with the seed as these will have a negative affect on seed germination.
- Use caution when applying a starter fertilizer when planting soybeans.