1993 - Volume #17, Issue #6, Page #13[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
Kansas Farmer Mixes Wheat, Fertilizer In DrillMixing wheat seed with fertilzer right in the drill has boosted yields for Scott City, Kan., farmer Bruce Wilkens, according to a recent report in Kansas Farmer.
Wilkens wanted to get dry phosphorus right into the root zone rather than applying it on the surface. He tried putting liquid phosphous on with his drill but it was ex-pensive and required extra application equipment. Putting it down with the seed seemed like the simplest solution. He first tried it three years ago, mixing a limited amount of 11-52-0 in with seed wheat. Yields on that small patch jumped 12 per-cent (5 bu./acre) over neighboring fields. The next year he expanded the idea to 300 acres and then increased that to 600 acres last season.
Drawbacks are that Wilkens has to haul seed to town to have the fertilzer blended together with fertilizer. Also, he has to refill drills more often. But he says he's noticed no problem with fertilizer settling out or corroding equipment.
The most important thing is to get the drill calibrated right for the blend so you have the right seeding and fertilizing rate. Wilkens shoots for about 30 lbs. of 11-52-0 per acre, which gives him about 15 lbs. of phosphorous per acre and a bit of nitrogen to give the crop an early kick. The bulk of his nitrogen goes on as anhydrous. It's also important to use a high grade of fertilizer with uniform particle size and no dust or fines.
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