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Strip Fertilization Saves P & K
"A look at anyone's crop enterprise budget sheet shows that the highest operating cost is fertilizer. In 1977, after reading several articles on research at Purdue University on strip fertilization, I decided to try it to reduce costs," says Jeff Thomas, Convoy, Ohio, a recent winner in a money-saving ideas contest sponsored by Ciba-Geigy.
"According to the research, strip fertilization can safely reduce fall application of P & K up to 20% with no reduction in, and sometimes an increase in, yield. This is due to the fact that, with strip fertilization, we mix the fertilizer in with only 10 to 20% of the soil, compared to 100% with conventional broad-cast application.
"I designed and mounted two large hoppers on our 12-ft. chisel plow. Each hopper holds 1,700 lbs. of fertilizer enough to cover a sizeable acreage before refilling. The metering system is made from dry fertilizer augers salvaged from my corn planter. The augers are driven by a hydraulic motor with a flow valve to control the rate of application. Dry fertilizer drops into delivery tubes mounted behind the chisel teeth and is spread throughout the height of the channel created by the chisel shank for proper mixing with the soil.
"By using a chisel plow, we are able to place the fertilizer where roots need it most, and also avoid tie-up of nutrients with surface residue."

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1984 - Volume #8, Issue #3