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Using banded fertilizer for corn production

Profitable corn yields are the result of wisely using several production inputs. Effectively, but not excessively, using fertilizer is just one part of the crop production puzzle.

Fertilizer management involves more than selecting an appropriate rate. Placement choice is a major consideration. This is especially true for immobile nutrients such as phosphorus, potassium and zinc.

Understanding banded fertilizer and other placement methods

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Fertilizer rates by placement approach

Producers can use reduced phosphorus and potassium rates if they apply it in a band, thanks to the method’s improved efficiency for corn. Tables 3 and 4 show the difference in recommended rates as affected by band and broadcast placement, respectively, for corn production.

Using lower rates of phosphorus and/or potassium in a band reduces the amount of money spent on phosphate and/or potash fertilizers.

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Strategies: Fertilizer placement

There’s no firm rule dictating where to place the banded fertilizer in relation to the corn seed. The fertilizer supplying phosphate and/or potash can be placed:

  1. To the side of the seed.

  2. To the side of and below the seed.

  3. Below the seed.

Phosphorus and potassium are considered to be immobile in soils. So crops will get little benefit from these nutrients if they’re placed or applied above the level of the seed either at the time of planting or after planting.

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Reviewed in 2018

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