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Implement Alley Discussion Forum

Sidedressing Corn

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01-16-2006 20:10:00

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I have a JD 246 two row planter. I plant about 3 acres of field corn. Is it possible to sidedress nitrogen with that planter? My idea is to lengthen the center lift arm so as to get the seed shoe openers above the ground but leave the peess wheels low enough to operate the fertilizer attachments and put the fertilizer close to the corn rows. Will this work? I've never tried it before.

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01-18-2006 05:54:47

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 Re: Sidedressing Corn in reply to tnhobbyfarmer, 01-16-2006 20:10:00  
I went away from NH3 years ago because of safety issues. I side dress with 28% liquid nit.when corn is 10+" tall useing a cultivator.
I carry tanks on the tractor and pump it behind the shovel closest to the row and the next shovel covers it. Using this method I can get same yield results with 100 units of nit as 160 units of preplant nit. I have proven this several times with side by side test. Yes it cost to cultivate but I save on weed spray as well. The local coops also rent equipment to apply 28% well. I use an eight row 36" cultvator so I can run about 120 acres a day.

Just my two cents worth.

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01-18-2006 05:12:04

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 Re: Sidedressing Corn in reply to tnhobbyfarmer, 01-16-2006 20:10:00  
There is alot of talk in the industry about forms of N. NH3 is going towards having anyone who transports it may have to have a CDL w/ hazmat-even farmers just so they can get the haz-mat training. there is also talk of everyone who transports it must have a risk management plan in place, and a copy must be on file at the retailer, the hauling vehicle, the site of application, and the main base of operations for the farm. this is to outline what measures are in place should and accident/spill occur. Retailers already have these, but there is talk of making users have these as well.

Nitrate is becoming a touchy issue as well due to the nature of the product and its "non farm" applications in recent years. I suspect in the not so distant future, retailers will stop handling it as well due to the regulatory issues.

Given this guy's situation, i would steer him to the Nitrate. It is easy to handle-no fumes from the NH3 and he can rent the cart from the fert. dealer. Yes it is more expensive per lb/N, and to get enough product for a corn crop he'd be spreading almost 400lb of product/A but that's not bad-just a small cart load. For 3A i wouldn't mess with setting up something to handle 28% or 32% liquid, or deal with the gas. 30 minutes with a cart and it would be done. if there's a heavy dew, it might spot the leaves a little, but not anywhere near yield injury levels.

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01-17-2006 18:03:35

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 Re: Sidedressing Corn in reply to tnhobbyfarmer, 01-16-2006 20:10:00  
Here we dont do much sidedressing anymore.
Nh3 can be applied preplant and still be around when the plant needs it... TO ade this you add DOW's N-serve nitrogen stablizer--- that EPA's considering making manditory anyway. We preplant about 160#/a and 20# or so in the starter

I didnt know New York had outlawed Nh3. Its just not lawfull to carry it in unaproved cantainers.

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01-18-2006 04:53:54

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 Re: Sidedressing Corn in reply to edchiansaw, 01-17-2006 18:03:35  
I'm not exactly sure about legality, but since last year nobody has it. So it's either law or liability. NH3 used to sell like fresh bread around here so I can't believe that local mills would stop carrying it. There is one place that you can get Calcium NH3 but it's pricey for what you get unless you need the calcium. Some farmers are getting their NH3 from Pennsylvania(bout 120 miles for me).

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Jerry (AL)

01-17-2006 17:35:40

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 Re: Sidedressing Corn in reply to tnhobbyfarmer, 01-16-2006 20:10:00  
I use an old Covington setup on a cultivator. Earlier in this string it was mentioned that the best way to side dress it is a little along. My dad used to say that. I side dress mine a little each time I plow it after it gets a foot tall. It gets a couple of shots and it does great. I plant about 4 acres is all for the wildlife but try to get all the corn I can on the ground I have for the corn.

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01-18-2006 09:22:18

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 Re: Sidedressing Corn in reply to Jerry (AL), 01-17-2006 17:35:40  
What is an "old Covington setup"? Do you find such setups at auctions very often?

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Jerry (AL)

01-18-2006 16:29:56

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 Re: Sidedressing Corn in reply to TNhobbyfarmer, 01-18-2006 09:22:18  
Covington made and still makes a sidedresser that fits on a two row cultivator. It has chutes that lay the ammonium nitrate right against the corn base and the culitvator throws a little dirt to it. I do this a couple of times and lay it by. I pull it with my little 8N and when the corn starts hitting the axles pretty good, I get out of the field. A wheel runs in the middle and makes the shaker pan work.It really works pretty good. I picked up the old cultivator for $100 and I think I paid $50 for the side dresser. They do still sell them new. Harpe Industries in Red Bay Al carries Covington, who is located in Ga.

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01-17-2006 13:43:45

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 Re: Sidedressing Corn in reply to tnhobbyfarmer, 01-16-2006 20:10:00  
Would it OK to put amonia nitrate or urea in the soil at the time of planting? Is that ever done? Would the planter be capable of putting enough out? I"d like to do it all at once but don"t know for sure if that is a good plan.

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01-18-2006 02:14:59

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 Re: Sidedressing Corn in reply to TNhobbyfarmer, 01-17-2006 13:43:45  
Starter fertilizer is put on during planting on perhaps 90% of the corn planted around here. About 125-150 lbs of granular fertilizer, placed 2 inches deep, 2 inches to the side of the corn row. This will not be enough N, but enough P & K. Of late, liquid starter has become much more popular, easier to handle. It is low-salt fertilizer, & put on the row, directly on the seed up to 5 gal per acre, or beside the row up to 10 gal.

Here in Minnesota, NH3 is put on in fall after the temps are 50 or lower/ or in spring before planting/ or as sidedress after the corn is up, about 100-150 lbs per acre of actual N. We aim for 150 - 225 bu of corn here.

Granular N is not much used for the bulk of N needs other than starter, tho some few use it for all N.

I certainly woulda put on up to 150 lbs of fert while planting, that woul give you the P & K, and up to 20lbs of N. You get into salt issues if you put on more ganular in a band too close to the row, so need to do something else to add more N.

All forms of N are better off if incorporated into the soil, where they bind up with moisture & soil particles, and need to be converted into useable N. NH3 applied in fall in our cold soils will be there in August yet, as it slowly converts to useable form.

If you need more N than the 20 lbs, I would look to the more stable types of granular & spin them on with a cart, or dribble on liquid N down the rows. I assume your acres don't allow knifing in NH3 reasonably.

I have not heard of NH3 for fertilizer being outlawed anywhere in the USA, but I sure don't know everything. :) I understand granular is easier to deal with in some locations, and liquid is rapidly gaining popularity.


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Hugh MacKay

01-17-2006 15:33:16

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 Re: Sidedressing Corn in reply to TNhobbyfarmer, 01-17-2006 13:43:45  
hobbyfarmer: The main reason for adding N after corn is foot or more high is that no forms of N will stay in soil long enough to feed the plants when needed. Kind of like going to a party, you can't drink it all before you leave home.

I notice you are in TN. Here in some of the cooler parts of Canada we can fertilize a substancial portion of N at seeding using Urea. Urea will stay in soil and not be released until soil warms to around 55 degrees F. That works well for wheat, oats or barley and especially on potatoes. Corn will still take more N but we can cut the side dress volume.

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01-17-2006 07:02:49

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 Re: Sidedressing Corn in reply to tnhobbyfarmer, 01-16-2006 20:10:00  
I used to side dress with NH3 with a cart. Only on fields that I couldn't get manure on. I had good results 20 tons/acre or better for silage on sour ground. Now you can't get NH3 in New York state. So I'll hafta figure something else out.

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01-17-2006 05:44:59

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 Re: Sidedressing Corn in reply to tnhobbyfarmer, 01-16-2006 20:10:00  
i have had some old customers broadcast Ammonium Nitrate over corn up to knee high with a cart and have good results. this came into play for a bottom farm customer who couldn't get NH3 on b/c it was too wet, and a hill farmer who didn't want to try and keep a tool bar on the rows. both made above 125bu/a on around 100-125lb N/a. You could get the cart from a local fert. dealer most likely, and it makes the project go quick. just make sure they set up for your row spacing. We had several, and always kept one on 30's and one on 36's as we had a few hold-outs on wide rows. Also, this would only work with Amm. Nitrate, as the others have said, the Urea would need to be worked in.

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01-17-2006 11:22:26

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 Re: Sidedressing Corn in reply to nw_bearcat, 01-17-2006 05:44:59  
The amonium nitrate should be broadcast on before the leaves are big enough to form an umbrella over the ground. The nitrate can burn the leaves. Once the nitrate is on you should follow close behind with a cultivator to incorperate it so the sun does not evaporate the nitrogen.

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Hugh MacKay

01-17-2006 12:11:35

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 Re: Sidedressing Corn in reply to ET, 01-17-2006 11:22:26  
ET: Amonium Nitrate will only burn corn if the leaves are wet or damp and it's not raining hard enough to wash it off. You can spread AN on very dry days or in the rain and it will work very well even in knee high corn. AN does not evaporate in the sun, this only happens with Urea in granular fertilizers.

Granted AN will work faster if it is tilled in with the cultivator. The cultivator also does a lot of damage in knee high corn. If you want quick action with AN apply it in the rain.

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Hugh MacKay

01-17-2006 01:56:40

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 Re: Sidedressing Corn in reply to tnhobbyfarmer, 01-16-2006 20:10:00  
hobbyfarmer: What row width are you using for planting? If 36" you could try setting the 246 at 28" for doing the N. If you try application with the seed shoes lifted on that 246, I doubt if you get enough traction on the press wheels to turn the fertilizer metering mechanism. If applying Urea you must drill it in soil, another reason to have planter down.

If this were me I'd look for a tool bar and a couple of double disc openers. Maybe you allready have a 3 point row crop cultivator. If so devise a way to mount just the fertilizer hoppers from the planter, and using the double disc openers drill the fertilizer in. You could mount the entire press wheel axle on the back of tool bar or cultivator for driving the fertilizer, plus they would make ideal gauge wheels.

Also look around a bit, you may find an entire parts planter that you could build this from. Hoppers on a parts planter will likely be toast, but that part is an easy change, and you don't have rearrange your planter.

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Farmerboy 777

01-17-2006 01:15:06

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 Re: Sidedressing Corn in reply to tnhobbyfarmer, 01-16-2006 20:10:00  
Sidedressing corn is applying liquid nitrogen (anhydrous or 28%) to corn that is already up. Would it be easier to have the locale COOP do it when they are driving by. Depending on the soil tests a person could rent a spreader and spread urea on the ground before planting. Urea has to be disked in ASAP. Urea is 46% nitrogen so if you wanted 100 pounds of nitrogen it would take 217 pounds of urea. A lot of farmers do it his way. Soil tests are big now days. As your question goes I don't know if it would work or not.

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