Our fall L.E.A.D. Academy webinar provided answers for a question on the top of many farmers’ minds this time of year—what worked well, and how can we improve for next season? Watch Dr. Jake’s overview of his 2023 research plot results here, or read on to learn more about his conclusions.
Fertilizer Distance Study
We launched our multi-location fertilizer distance study three years ago in preparation for the launch of ExactStrip application. Now, after testing more than 800 plots at 10 locations across three seasons, Dr. Jake is excited to share his findings.
ExactStrip shares RTK guidance lines from the floater to the farmer’s planter, tractor or strip till machine in order to plant as close as possible to the fertilizer bands. Much like a teenager being close to a refrigerator, the closer the plant’s roots are to the fertilizer, the more nutrients the plant will consume.
Dr. Jake tested ExactStrip fertilizer application against broadcast application and a check plot with no fertilizer applied. Each ExactStrip application included a 30” band of full-rate fertilizer, and distances tested ranged from 0” to 15”.
Traditional liquid fertilizer applications tend to occur between 6” and 9” of the planted row—a range that yielded a 2 to 3 bushels per acre increase over broadcast application and 12 to 14 bushels per acre more than the untreated plot in our study.
With ExactStrip, we are able to place fertilizer within 3” of the row—providing a 5 to 8 bushels per acre yield advantage over broadcast application and 16 to 18 bushels per acre over untreated.
This yield increase proves the value of precision application for maximum crop performance. We are excited for Liqui-Grow customers to continue seeing these results on your own farms.
If your farm equipment is up to date with RTK capabilities, reach out to your local Liqui-Grow sales representative and ask them about our distance study and ExactStrip technology.
Pairing ExactStrip with Strip-Till
Continuing with his ExactStrip research, Dr. Jake conducted a study comparing different approaches for applying fertilizer in strip-till operations.
ExactStrip application following strip-till performed very well against traditional injected application, and Dr. Jake is optimistic about how these numbers will continue to improve as his research on pairing ExactStrip with various tillage practices moves forward.
In-Furrow Additives on Corn
Dr. Jake has been studying biological and non-traditional products for corn for the past six years. Through this extensive research, two products stand out.
Micro-AZ and AvailT5 show consistent yield improvements of more than 4 bushels per acre across the 20+ plots tested. Dr. Jake strongly recommends these products for an affordable and reliable yield boost in corn.
Micro-AZ In-Furrow Starter
Micro-AZ caught Dr. Jake’s attention because the formulation centered around azospirillum brasilense—a well-researched bacteria that causes significant increases in corn root hairs, which improves nutrient uptake and leads to consistent yield increases.
AvailT5 is a phosphorus enhancement product that is a valuable additive for any field, particularly ones with pH above 7 or below 5.5 and/or low phosphorus levels.
Dr. Jake compiled 140 side by side comparisons across 8 sites, and the results show that AvailT5 is effective whether applied in–furrow or with fall suspension fertilizer. According to his research, AvailT5 yields an average return on investment of $13 per acre.
Next, Dr. Jake wanted to compare the impact of AvailT5 on various soil types. When you look at the locations with the ideal conditions for AvailT5 to make the biggest impact, you can see the average yield increase from 4 to 9 bushels per acre, bringing in a $38 per acre return on investment.
Using this knowledge, we’ve come up with an innovative solution to maximize the impact of your investment. By using grid samples to identify areas of the field with high/low pH and low phosphorus levels, we’re able to inject AvailT5 exactly where your fields need it, and skip the areas that don’t.
This is an application method that can benefit any farmer. Talk to your local Liqui-Grow sales representative to take advantage of AvailT5.
New In-Furrow Additives
While we recognize and appreciate the reliability and consistency of Micro-AZ and AvailT5, we also embrace cutting-edge technology and new products on the market.
This year, Dr. Jake conducted studies involving Maneuver, Utrisha P and Fosters + Pmax. The initial results all show strong performance, but we have smaller amounts of data on these products. Dr. Jake is eager to continue studying their impact on crop yields and gathering more data to help farmers make informed decisions.
Foliar Non-Traditional Screening in Soybeans
Another new study for 2023 centered around foliar non-traditional screening in soybeans. The preliminary findings shine a spotlight on one key group of products: amino acid based.
Dr. Jake is confident in the ability of amino acids to provide a strong foundation for soybean additives, ultimately resulting in a high return on investment. This initial research backs this belief, and we will continue to share updates as the study continues.
Starter Fertilizer with Zinc
For his last research update, Dr. Jake shared insights from a study focused on the presence of zinc in starter fertilizers. This research revealed the shocking conclusion that applying starter fertilizer without zinc actually lowers crop yields.
This is because traditional phosphorus fertilizer ties up zinc in the soil, ultimately doing more harm than good for the plant. For a starter fertilizer to truly benefit your crop, it needs to be a well-balanced formulation.
From concluding long-term studies to just beginning new ones, this fall’s L.E.A.D. Academy webinar set the stage for another productive year of unveiling new agronomic insights in 2024.
Want to learn more about Dr. Jake’s research? Text us at 564-220-2508 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.