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‘Max’ small grain yields with drill-applied starter

Tractor applying starter fertilizer at planting
BEST N AND S TIME: Applying starter fertilizer at planting may maximize small-grain yields.
Crop Tech Update: Drill-applied nitrogen and sulfur tops; new clover coming; apply Instinct at the manure pit.

It may be too late for this fall, but small grain growers who apply nitrogen and sulfur after emergence need to rethink N and S timing. Having some ammonium N and sulfur available at small-grain planting is a good practice — especially if your small grains follow high corn yields, suggests Greg Roth, corn agronomist at Penn State University. Reason: The more fall and winter tillering, the greater your yields.

You may be giving up as much as 13% of wheat yields by waiting to broadcast after emergence, adds Mercedes Gearhart, senior agronomist at AdvanSix. That’s confirmed by research at North Carolina State University and Purdue University.

Place a starter N-P-K-S blend (with sulfur provided by ammonium sulfate) via a seed firmer in the row, or inject it 2 inches below the seed and three-quarters of an inch to the side, says Wade Thomason , Virginia Tech Extension grains specialist. This delivers the greatest yield — compared to broadcast.

Ammonium sulfate, he adds, has a relatively low salt index and brings sulfate to the crop in an immediately usable form. And it doesn’t have the toxicity of close placement of urea or ammonium thiosulfate.

Close placement is important especially for sulfur-deficient soils. “On some of our sandiest soils, we need to split-apply S just like N, to maintain availability throughout the year,” says Thomason.

Source: AdvanSix

FIXatioN clover is coming

Move over, crimson clover. You’ve got new cover crop seed selection competition. FIXationN balansa clover is a cold-tolerant species patented this summer by Grassland Oregon. It’s a later-maturing, deep-rooted clover capable of withstanding -15 degrees F (with snow cover), says Jerry Hall, Grassland’s director of research. Even without cold tolerance issues, Hall claims it can still produce greater biomass yield than traditional crimson clover.

DEEP TAP: This cold-tolerant clover may give crimson clover competition.

As a straight legume crop, FIXationN balansa clover can produce more than 300 pounds of nitrogen and 5 tons of dry matter per acre in a single growing season due to its late maturity. Taproots stretching down as much as 36 inches boost N fixation rates, plus help loosen soil and improve filtration.

Source: Grassland Oregon

Pit-apply Instinct manure stabilizer

Instinct N stabilizer can now be mixed in manure pits to reduce leaching and denitrification losses in manured fields. Field studies conducted by Dow AgroSciences and Midwest universities show as much as 10- to 12-bushel yield increases with treated manure.

With standard pit agitation, the stabilizer can be mixed into more than 96% of the manure, says Eric Scherder, a DowAgroSciences field scientist. It doesn’t allow you to apply more manure, he points out. But it’ll help maximize every gallon applied by keeping more nitrogen from leaching or denitrifying.

In 2016, U.S. EPA awarded Instinct’s stabilizer technology the Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Award for providing both economic and environmental benefits to farmers.

Source: Dow AgroSciences

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