Starter Trial Results  12/01/16 2:18:07 PM

THREE YEAR STARTER FERTILIZER TRIAL RESULTS—WITH A TWIST  As we have stated previously,  it is academically documented from research dating back to the 1950's that banded application of immobile nutrients such as P and K near the seed at planting can be much more agronomically efficient than a broadcast application over the soil surface when considering corn stand establishment. Research conducted at Purdue University by Barger indicates this is a function of the amount of soil the roots must explore to obtain adequate amounts of the immobile nutrients such as phosphorus, potassium and zinc to germinate and effectively grow. Starter fertilizers have a long pedigree of what it can do for the emergence and development of a uniform stand. This too, can be affected by your soil type, soil moisture content, as well as soil temperature at planting.
For corn and soybean production, Midwest Laboratories, as well as WBI, would suggest that the optimum phosphorus P1 level test should be 25 ppm or above, zinc at 2.0 ppm, and the K levels should be around 200ppm. How many fields fit these criteria? What can be done to maintain these levels??
We continually evaluate our fertility levels in the soil and over time both academics and producers using starter fertilizer agree that banding or in furrow starter fertilizers plus additives can pay off considerably. BUT, What happens under various soils, fertility levels, etc. This is the question we ask every year about this time.
SO, we started this trial 3 years ago at the following site with these fertility levels
2014
 
                 
Baseline Soil Test Results            
Tested Fall 2013   What does this mean??        
pH 5.9 Border line in needing lime        
Organic Matter 5% High Percentage--can source above average amounts of mineralized nutrients.
C.E.C. 23 Higher clay than silt content but within a good range        
P1 Test 159 ppm Excessively high--optimum range is 25-30 ppm    
P2 Test 148 ppm Normally should be 2x the P1 level--but with P1 tests this high?
Sulfur 19 ppm Excessive for this soil type and CEC      
Potassium 401 ppm Excessively high--optimum range between 150-200 ppm.  
Zinc 7.7 ppm Excessive--1.5-2.0 ppm is normally adequate    
                           
 
+We continued the trail in 2015 with this level of fertility at a different location
 
                 
Baseline Soil Test Results            
Tested Fall 2014   What does this mean??        
pH 5.4 Low-- In need of lime        
Organic Matter 2.7% Average percentage range for this area
C.E.C. 18.3 Most soils range between 5 at 35 meq/100g        
P1 Test 22 ppm Excessively high--optimum range is 25-30 ppm    
P2 Test 29 ppm Low--Normally should be 2x the P1 level
Sulfur 9 ppm Border line low given soil type and existing pH      
Potassium 171 ppm Optimum range between 150-200 ppm.  
Zinc 1.9 ppm 1.5-2.0 ppm is normally adequate    
                           
 
FOR 2016—We stayed at the same (2015)  location and DID NOT soil sample
 
 
Our treatment list included the following
 
1 Untreated check              
2 5 gal of Optistart Pro--9-18-6-2Sulfur 0.5 Zn-0.05 MNw Avail + 3.4 oz of Capture LFR  
3 5 gal of Optistart Pro--9-18-6-2Sulfur 0.5 Zn-0.05 MNw Avail + 3.4 oz of Capture LFR + 3.6 oz of Xanthion
4 5 gal of 6-24-6              
5 5 gal of 6-24-6 + 3.4 oz Capture LFR          
6 5 gal of 6-24-6 + 3.4 oz Capture LFR + Avail (3.2 oz)        
7 5 gal of 6-24-6 + 3.4 oz Capture LFR + Instinct (35 oz/Acre)      
8 5 gal of 6-24-6 + 3.4 oz Capture LFR + Instinct (35 oz/Acre) + Accomplish (1 qt/acre)  
                 
 
That being said, what are the additional components to the base treatments??
OPTISTART PRO is a complete fertilizer mix with an Avail premix
AVAIL inhibits phosphate fixation throughout the growing season.
CAPTURE LFR is an insecticide which controls seedling pest such as wireworm, white grubs, armyworn and corn rootworm.
XANTHION is a fungicide that can enhance root development, help control soil borne diseases, and improve seedling health.
INSTINCT is a urease inhibitor that slows down nitrification or applied UAN
ACCOMPLISH improves fertilizer efficiency
 
We had two fairly different testing environments from a soil fertility level—2014 site excessively high in P1, zinc and potassium while the 2015 AND 2016 site was pretty close to recommended ranges. All three years posed challenges in getting the stands germinated and out of the ground due to excessively spring rains. However, we can learn a few things from these environments.  In 2016 we decided to have an early and late planted version of this to test the theory that starters help you the most in cold/wet conditions.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
RESULTS
 
              2014 bu./acre  2015 bu./acre  2016 bu./acre     Running Ave.
1. Untreated check             177.4 201.2 245.5    208.033
2. 5 gal of Optistart Pro--9-18-6-2Sulfur 0.5 Zn-0.05 MNw Avail + 3.4 oz of Capture LFR   187.4 204.8 253.4    215.2
3. 5 gal of Optistart Pro--9-18-6-2Sulfur 0.5 Zn-0.05 MNw Avail + 3.4 oz of Capture LFR   199.7 207.7 258.3    221.9
+ 3.6 oz. of Xanthion.                
4. 5 gal of 6-24-6             189.4 204.1 257.4    216.967
5. 5 gal of 6-24-6 + 3.4 oz Capture LFR         184.9 205.9 241.4    210.733
6. 5 gal of 6-24-6 + 3.4 oz Capture LFR + Avail       209.1 202.5 261.7    224.433
7. 5 gal of 6-24-6 + 3.4 oz Capture LFR + Instinct (35 oz/Acre)     215.7 204.3 256.8    225.6
8. 5 gal of 6-24-6 + 3.4 oz Capture LFR + Instinct (35 oz/Acre) + Accomplish (1 qt/acre)   223.6 204.7 257.3    228.533
                     
          3 Year Starter vs Untreated Check      
          Untreated 208.03 bu./acre        
          Treatment Ave. 220.48 bu./acre        
                     
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
                   
Early vs Later Planted           bu./acre bu./acre    
              Planted Planted    
2016 Early Plant vs Late Plant           03/29/2016 04/11/2016    
1. Untreated check               245.5 238.6    
2. 5 gal of Optistart Pro--9-18-6-2Sulfur 0.5 Zn-0.05 MNw Avail + 3.4 oz of Capture LFR     253.4 227.2    
3. 5 gal of Optistart Pro--9-18-6-2Sulfur 0.5 Zn-0.05 MNw Avail + 3.4 oz of Capture LFR     258.3 236.8    
+ 3.6 oz. of Xanthion.                
4. 5 gal of 6-24-6               257.4 240.9    
5. 5 gal of 6-24-6 + 3.4 oz Capture LFR           241.4 232.6    
6. 5 gal of 6-24-6 + 3.4 oz Capture LFR + Avail         261.7 244.3    
7. 5 gal of 6-24-6 + 3.4 oz Capture LFR + Instinct (35 oz/Acre)       256.8 257.2    
8. 5 gal of 6-24-6 + 3.4 oz Capture LFR + Instinct (35 oz/Acre) + Accomplish (1 qt/acre)     257.3 250.3    
  Early Untreated 245.5 bu./acre Late Untreated   238.6 bu./acre            
  Ave Early Trts 255.18 bu./acre    Ave Late Trts   241.32 bu./acre            
                     
 
 
 
 
 
What is the return on your investment?
                  Ave Gross  
                AVE. COST Return/Trt Ave net
                PER ACRE Sold at $3.00 Less Trt. Cost
1. Untreated check             $0.00 624 624
2. 5 gal of Optistart Pro--9-18-6-2Sulfur 0.5 Zn-0.05 MNw Avail + 3.4 oz of Capture LFR $33.19 645 611.81
3. 5 gal of Optistart Pro--9-18-6-2Sulfur 0.5 Zn-0.05 MNw Avail + 3.4 oz of Capture LFR $43.72 666 622.28
+ 3.6 oz. of Xanthion.                
4. 5 gal of 6-24-6             $21.50 651 629.5
5. 5 gal of 6-24-6 + 3.4 oz Capture LFR         $29.69 633 603.31
6. 5 gal of 6-24-6 + 3.4 oz Capture LFR + Avail       $35.29 667.2 631.91
7. 5 gal of 6-24-6 + 3.4 oz Capture LFR + Instinct (35 oz/Acre)     $40.27 678 647.73
8. 5 gal of 6-24-6 + 3.4 oz Capture LFR + Instinct (35 oz/Acre) + Accomplish (1 qt/acre) $48.10 687 638.9
 
To set up a planter for starter application (tanks, attachments, etc.) a current average cost is $410.00/Row. You must consider this for the number of acres of corn you annually plant and how many years you would intend the planter to be used with these attachments.
 
REMEMBER—This is only three years of data. We will continue this project for years to come to give you a better idea of the average return on your investment under different soils types, weather patterns, etc..
 
 
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