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How to Variable Rate Nitrogen at Sidedress

January 14, 2012
By: Margy Eckelkamp, Director of Content Development, Machinery Pete

Heading to the field for the first time to variable rate your nitrogen can be a big step. Ken Ferrie and Brad Beutke give tips in episode 9 of Corn College TV Season 2.

“First, when we get to the point where we decide to variable rate any input, you need to make sure all of the fundamentals are in place,” Ferrie says. “And typically it’s a big step because along with variable rate nitrogen we’ll also variable rate the population.”
Ferrie advises farmers to build their information with nitrate testing, ISNT testing, yield maps, NDVI maps, field histories and more.
There are a lot of technology and mechanics involved to make variable rate happen in the field. Along with the agronomic performance, the machine’s performance will also rely on the fundamentals being in place.
“Farmers are more familiar with technology than ever before, but we have to double check to make sure the machine will perform the way we are programming it to,” Beutke says.
Calibration is an important step to verify machinery output. Also, new equipment might be required. He gives the example of a Vari-Flow nozzle being installed on a 28% toolbar compared with a standard orifice.
Learn more in this episode of Corn College TV.

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