Ask an Agronomist
Liquid Versus Dry Fertilizer Use
May 17, 2010
Question: It seems everyone in my area is switching from dry to liquid fertilizer on the planter. Am I suffering yield loss sticking with dry? Or, is it a handling issue?
Answer: The growers that have switched from dry to liquid starter fertilizer have chosen to do so mainly because of handling logistics. Making sure you have the proper blend and rate of starter fertilizer is more important, however, than whether it is dry or liquid.
With liquid N fertilizers, variable-rate can be accomplished with a flow controller, a control valve and meter and a hydraulic-driven.
Two decades of evaluating starter fertilizer have convinced Farm Journal Field Agronomist Ken Ferrie that the practice pays.
Previous Q&A with our Agronomists:
Manure Versus Commercial Fertilizers
Cow manure helps boost crop yields on this farmer's fields. He asks. "How do I achieve similar results with commercial fertilizers?"
How Should We Handle Stalks this Year?
With last year's late harvest and the good traits of corn hybrids, what are we to do with the stalks?
How to Check Planter Down Pressure
Farmers need to know that not using the correct amount of pressure has its setbacks.
Can an N inhibitor replace a sidedressing application?
An Indiana farmer asks if by adding a nitrogen inhibitor in the spring nitrogen application, can he eliminate the need for sidedressing?
Could the N in manure be lower quality?
A dairy farmer from Wisconsin asks why when he applies manure to corn stalks in corn-on-corn, the next spring the corn still looks yellow and sickly.
We’ve launched this blog as an interactive way for you to have your questions answered by our Farm Journal Agronomists. E-mail your nitrogen, soil fertility, soil density, planter set up, scouting, and other questions to TestPlots@FarmJournal.com.