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Veteran Advisor

Going back to the old ways

Looking at the numbers for the upcomming wheat............. so, something must give. Years ago we used to use dry fertilizer on wheat. Had a seperate box in the drill. Yes it was slow go, and yes, way back it came in sacks !!! but now with almost 50 cents a pound difference on phos, you know on 20# and acre that's $10. Our old drills in the weeds had the fert in them. I now find out that finding a drill with fert is hard to find. I wanted a smaller end wheel drill......that makes matters even worse, JD doesn't make them anymore, their frountier division does. I'd also like a small seed seeder, since I do plant alfalfa.....add that all together, things get pretty narrow. but, i did find a webpage where you could build your own, and did that, then I knocked off 15% for list (i would guess you could do better)....and with that price, with the difference in the phos alone, the drill would pay for itself pretty fast. anyone else still do it the "old" way ? also want an nh3 applicator that has rolling cutters, so you can put on nh3 in no tilll.....again, almost 15 cents a pound difference between liq and nh3
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2 Replies
Senior Advisor

Re: Going back to the old ways

Old way, hell that's the my preferred method.  Smiley Very Happy


Haven't priced any fertilizer for the up and coming winter wheat drilling season yet but in the past dry has been considerably cheaper.  Notice I didn't say cheap, but only cheaper than liquid.  Since I've been no tilling I've always had my wheat custom drilled as I didn't have a no-till grain drill.  Now that I've got one which has a liquid setup on it if liquid is $20 higher per acre than dry it will still be less expensive for me to hire the custom guy with dry capabilities than it will be to do it myself and use liquid.  Guess it's about time to start pricing some fertilizer.


2015 was the first year my wheat was seeded using an air seeder which placed the dry directly with the seed within the row.  All my winter wheat with the exception of one field (which was freeze damaged) was 60 BPA or better.  Central Kansas.

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Frequent Contributor

Re: Going back to the old ways

This was the first spring I put in small grain with dry fertilizer in row at planting.  Normally I haven't put fertilizer of any type on while seeding small grain - very few people in the area do.  I looked for a 'smaller' (15 ft or less) used no till drill with dry fertilizer for about 4 years before giving up last fall and ordering a new Great Plains 1205NT with both dry fertilizer and small seeds box.  I put a blend of DAP with a bit of AMS on the wheat and oats.  Wish I would have put in some test strips without fertilizer to quantify the difference, but the small grain came up looking really good.  I was very conservative with the fertilizer (about a 7-12-0-2.5(S)), not knowing how it would impact germination, but the drill doesn't place the fertilizer next to the seed so much as near it.  Next year I'll go a bit heavier on the P, and I might even try some dry fertilizer with the beans.


We ended up seeding over 300 acres with the drill this spring.  Not bad for a 12 ft drill and a part time farmer.  Looking forward to harvesting the wheat and oats in the next week or two and finding out how it runs. 

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