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Fluid fertilization practices for corn zea mays in the atlantic coastal plain

Fluid fertilization practices for corn zea mays in the atlantic coastal plain

Journal of Fertilizer Issues 3(1): 1-6

The efficiency of fertilizer use by corn (Zea mays L.) may be improved by combining fluid fertilization with inrow subsoiling. The purpose of our research in 1983 was to evaluate the effects of supplemental N-P-K fertilizer applied behind a subsoil shank prior to planting in a disked or non-disked seedbed. In 1984 our objectives were modified to compare traditional band placement (2 inches over and 2 inches below the seed), subsoil placement and broadcast application as methods for applying starter fertilizers rather than evaluating supplemental fertilization. All treatments were evaluated with and without irrigation on Norfolk (fine-loamy, siliceous, thermic, Typic Paleudult) loamy sand. Grain and silage yield as well as ear leaf concentration and aerial accumulation of N-P-K were measured in 1983. Seedling weight and nutrient concentrations, ear leaf nutrient concentrations and grain yield were measured in 1984. Results show that deep placement of fluid fertilizer behind the subsoil shank was not optimum for a starter fertilizer nor beneficial for supplemental deep fertilization. Poor response to subsoil placement was probably caused by the fluid fertilizer flowing along the subsoil shank and being placed in a narrow zone approximately 18 inches below the seed. This was too deep for optimum fertilizer efficiency and may have prevented root penetration because of acidification or the salt concentration. For placement of fluid fertilizers behind subsoil shanks to be effective and advantageous, uniform distribution of the fertilizer throughout the physically-disturbed zone is necessary.

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