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New Way To Fertilize Corn
"Our corn plant seedlings used to be yellow the first couple days before their roots reached the fertilizer banded alongside it. Now, they're green as soon as they come up," says Frank Cawrse, Jr., Lebanon, Oreg., who drops fertilizer on the ground just ahead of the opener on his corn planter in addition to dual side-dress tubes that band fertilizer to the side and below the seed on both sides of the row.
Cawrse applies a total of about 500 lbs. of fertilizer per acre as he plants. He puts 100 lbs. down through the tube just ahead of the seed and 200 lbs. in the bands to either side. "The tube in front of the openers drops the fertilizer on top of the ground. The opener opens up the furrow and, as the covering wheels cover the furrow back up, it mixes the fertilizer up, packing it with dirt back over the seed. As the seed germinates, it immediately receives the benefit of the fertilizer," says Cawrse.
The 400 lbs. of fertilizer on the sides is dropped in bands 2 in. to the side and 2 in. below the seed so that the plant roots begin to reach it when they're about 6 in. tall.
To put the forward tube on his planter unit, Cawrse simply poked a hole in the fertilizer tube right where it splits into the two side-dress tubes. He calibrated it to 100 lbs. by using tubes off a dry fertilizer spreader.

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1985 - Volume #9, Issue #1