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jbneb
Contributor

Planter fertilizer ideas

Going to trade planters this year and thought i had everything figured out, might be changing my mind though.  Originally i was thinking about puting 5 gallons down in furrow through the totally tubular setup and another 10 gallons dribbled out behind the closing wheels.  Say you kept your cost to around $5 per gallon as an average, not sure if thats way too high or low.  It would cost somewhere around $75 per acre.  Now also assuming corn averages $5.50 (again an estimate), that would mean with the fertilizer I need to pick up 14 bushels roughly to get ahead on the investment (not counting time and equipment).  So my question to anyone out there would be is that worth while.  Would you run this setup, would you run just the in furrow or just the dribble application, or would you just buy a naked planter and go plant.  To give you an idea of my setup if it helps I run about 2/3 corn so about 1/3 is always corn on corn.  The ground I farm I would call moderate to good fertility.  Thanks in advance for any thoughts. 

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5 Replies
Nebrfarmr
Veteran Advisor

Re: Planter fertilizer ideas

The $75 per acre you quoted, should not be an expense above everything else, the fertilizer you apply with the planter, should be fertilizer that you would apply anyway.  If soil tests show a need for it, you would be applying it one way or the other anyway.  Putting it on with the planter just puts it right where the crop wants it.  On the one hand, it is supposed to make your fertilizer delivery more efficient, but it is one more thing to keep track of.  I put a band about 3 inches to one sede of the seed, and a couple inches down, and then sededress liq. N when the corn is about knee high.

The one thing I'd look into would be to apply the band behind the planter, as my planter has the applicators in front of the main toolbar, and the row cleaner and guage wheel that runs over the band, gets a little residue on it from the fertilizer, and that tends to make them rust more than the others over the winter.  It is hard to get all the residue off, even with a power washer.

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cz4586
Frequent Contributor

Re: Planter fertilizer ideas

Wasn't exactly your question, but if you dribble behind the closing wheel it makes a mess.  The back of your planter will receive a mist of liquid fertilizer and will soon be caked in dirt.

 

I dribble 10 gallons of UAN and 2 gallons of ATS between a spiked closing wheel and a drag chain. I like the way it works, it dribbles into ground roughed up by the spiked wheel and then the chain drags a little soil over it.  

 

I'm not obsessive about keeping my equipment clean, so it doesn't bother me, but if that sort of thing bothers you you'll want to go with something that puts the liquid in the under the soil surface.

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arnfarm735
Senior Contributor

Re: Planter fertilizer ideas

Fertilizer placement with the planter has been an ongoing frustration for many years for us.

 

We used to ridge till and any fertilizer discs or knives ahead of the seed placement brought up moist soil that built up on the gage wheels.

 

We then went to in-furrow placement but that limited how much fertilizer you can put on -- we put 5 - 7 gallons of 10-34-0 in-furrow.

 

We then went with the in-furrow plus "dribbled" another 10 gallons of 32-0-0 behind press wheel. That got us more N on while planting with the idea of multiple applications of N over the season. That also meant we needed two tanks of fertilizer on the supply truck. Not a big deal in itself but we already had a water tank on the truck for herbicide besides the two fertilizer mixes. Also meant 4 tanks on planter/tractor set up -- two for herbicide and two for fertilizers. BTW we didn't see a splattering from the dribble behind the press wheel - too low of a pressure coming out.

 

The last couple years we just put 15 gallons of a 50/50 mix of 32% and 10-34-0 behind the press wheel. That meant we were filling our 600 gallon tank every 40 acres.

 

So this year we went back to only placing 7 gallon of10-34-0 on the seed. What is good about in-furrow no matter what else you do is you can add liquid insecticide with the fertilizer if and when you need to.

 

Our idea for next year is to use the saddle tanks on the tractor (1200 gallons total) just for fertilizer and spraying herbicde on either pre or post plant with our Nitro sprayer.

 

I haven't really given you any solid answers because we are still searching ourselves......it seems to be a constatntly moving target.

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cz4586
Frequent Contributor

Re: Planter fertilizer ideas

How was your dribble setup behind the press wheel?   

 

I have a short stainless nipple fastened to the drag chain bracket so it streams out about 4 inches above the ground.  The check valve and orfice are threaded to the top of that nipple.  I'm running about 30-40 PSI most of the time.

 

It'd be nice if I could avoid the splatter and mess it makes.

 

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arnfarm735
Senior Contributor

Re: Planter fertilizer ideas

Our set up is quite similar to yours.

 

We use a ground driven piston pump that pumps through a diverter manifold which divides the flow equally to each row. Next is a check valve along with an orfice that is sized to the amount of fertilizer we want to put on. The orfices along with the manifold help keep the flow to an even pressure row to row.

 

The pump's gage shows an output of about 30 - 40 psi. Like yours, the check valve and orfice are close to the stainless tube we have attached just inside the press wheel; after the orfice there is little pressure coming out of the tube. 

 

Not sure where the difference in splatter is coming from. We are not using a drag chain but that shouldn't make any difference. Most of our fertilizer ends up going into one of the press wheel tracks. The stainless steel tube ends about three inches beyond the press wheel.

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