MOLINE, Ill. — In a time when nitrogen fertilizer supplies are expensive, and obtaining the physical quantities are uncertain, farmers are turning to technology to help conserve fertilizer.
Some of that technology was drawing interest from farmers recently at the Quad Cities Farm Show.
The 360 Yield Bandit positions nitrogen fertilizer in a band next to the row of seed and the 360 Yield Wave delivers fertilizer in the furrow.
“With farmers facing nitrogen costs that are double or triple or more this year, by taking what was once a broadcast application over every square foot of the acre and banding that next to the row, you have a tremendous efficiency gain. Most growers can either use less or get more fertilizer into the plant by putting it next to the row,” said Dave Murphy, 360 Yield regional agronomist for northern Illinois.
Murphy said both products have been popular items in the 360 Yield lineup, but it was the 360 Yield Bandit that was drawing the bulk of farmer interest at farm shows. The Bandit has been in the product lineup for around three years.
“If you traditionally apply nitrogen in any form, whether that’s broadcast or dry, anhydrous or broadcast liquid, you are fertilizing every square foot. Now, by utilizing your planter, you are already making that pass across the field,” Murphy said.
While installing the technology can require a bit more labor, Murphy said the company offers technical assistance with that.
“It’s a little bit more effort to outfit tanks, pumps and plumbing on a planter, but we have tools to make that as simple as possible,” he said.
In terms of ROI and yield, 360 Yield plot results show success in reducing nitrogen rates and costs.
“If you are using liquid nitrogen as a carrier for your spring herbicide and you are spreading it that way, a common practice, if you eliminated that and started banding it next to the row, yield results would say you could reduce your rate by 30% immediately,” Murphy said.