Technology has given every grower the opportunity to precisely manage input costs and achieve maximum yield potential. When it comes to fertilizer applications, though, most farmers just throw nutrients on the field and hope the plant gets the benefit.
Flat rate dry fertilizer application is a perfect example of this. Growers using this method spread a flat rate of nitrogen, potassium and phosphorus on their field each year to keep nutrients available in the soil and increase yield potential. However, flat rate application fails to account for nutrient differences across the field and assumes that every acre needs the same amount of fertilizer each year.
To provide more accuracy and reduce cost, many growers shifted to using variable rate application methods. Based on annual soil sample results, growers could have custom recommendations for every field they sampled and calculate exactly how much of each fertilizer they needed each year. This allowed growers to save on input costs while providing the nutrients necessary to hit desired yield goals.
Unfortunately, the problem wasn’t fully solved.
Research has revealed that each type of dry fertilizer has a different spread pattern. This means even with a variable rate application, some nutrients are still spread heavier or lighter than desired.
A 2018 Iowa State University study also found that dry fertilizer spreaders often have uneven distribution across their swath, even with proper calibration. The study showed that across a normal 90-120 foot spread pattern, the application directly behind the machine was less than on each side. The lack of consistent application results in fertilizer granules being scattered across the ground, oftentimes too far from the plant roots to be easily absorbed.
The good news is Liqui-Grow has a solution.
The Liqui-Grow Advantage
Rather than spreading dry fertilizer that has to be dissolved and broken down to be absorbed, we start with liquid fertilizer. Liquid P & K Suspensions provide equal amounts of liquid fertilizer evenly across every acre.
Why does this matter?
Our standard liquid suspension is applied in 15” centered rows, which we call banding. Placing highly concentrated nutrients in close proximity to the plant improves uptake and utilization. Because the fertilizer is already in liquid form, it doesn’t get bound up in the soil, or by other nutrients like Calcium, Iron and Aluminum. This allows the plant to absorb it quicker than dry fertilizer. Learn more about banding fertilizer here.
Arguably the biggest benefit of liquid suspension fertilizer, though, is the increased performance in the field and profit potential.
In our field trials of dry and liquid fertilizer application, we tested both flat fields and farms with hillsides to compare uniformity and harvest results. Not only did liquid suspension fertilizer provide a more even application with every pass, the dry fertilizer application resulted in higher levels of inconsistency as the rate increased, or when applied on a hillside.
This result is a leading cause for the multiple issues we see in fields with nutrient deficiencies, and it means growers are not receiving the full benefit from their investment. When the floater drives across your field, you should be confident every plant on every acre receives the nutrients it needs to perform.
More efficient application always results in more profit potential. That’s why liquid fertilizer was developed. In fact, our research has shown that applying a liquid suspension band can result in five bushel per acre yield increase compared to broadcast applications. That’s money back in your pocket every time!
To feed your crop evenly, improve your field performance and profit potential, text us at 564-220-2508 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.