- Doug Albin and Till-Tech Systems Limited, St. Thomas, Ontario
Evaluation Summary (Tech. Transfer Report Summaries)
View / Download Final Report [612 KB pdf] (No Appendices)
Associated SWEEP/LSP Research
Completed: August, 1992
urea placement, dry fertilizer injection, 28% nitrogen, urea, zone
tillage, timing, sidedress, coulter till, no-till, nitrogen, equipment,
The objective of this project was to develop a machine which would provide
farmers practising conservation tillage with the means to apply dry form
nitrogen sources (i.e. urea and/or ammonium nitrate). Before the project
began, the standard nitrogen source used in reduced tillage systems was
liquid 28% N which was applied by an applicator developed to inject the
material into the soil.
From an environmental perspective, the benefits of the prototype machine
(hereafter referred to as the fertilizer zone-tiller) are seen as follows:
the environmental risks associated with storage are lower with dry
forms (urea and ammonium nitrate) than with liquid 28% N or anhydrous.
the fertilizer zone-tiller works effectively in no-till applications
and in varied soil types (tested in sandy loam and clay loam soils). The
coulter design cut previous-crop residue for accurate fertilizer placement
while leaving trash between the rows for continued soil protection from
wind and water erosion.
the fertilizer zone-tiller can be pulled in tandem with the planter
thus reducing: (1) fuel consumption and (2) field passes (risk of soil
compaction is less).
The criteria for judging the success of this project were established
If corn fertilized using the fertilizer zone-tiller
performed at least as well as corn fertilized with the liquid 28% N applicator,
then the fertilizer zone-tiller is a feasible fertilizer
placement machine. [Evaluation parameters - yield, biomass, height and
If comparable or better results can be achieved using dry nitrogen fertilizers
(vs. 28% N), then conventional farmers who favour their use might be more
inclined to convert to soil conservation cropping techniques.
To establish whether the fertilizer zone-tiller has merit, it was tested
over two years with two plots on a sandy loam site (1989, 1990) and one
plot at a clay loam location (1990). While corn at the clay loam location
did not show a response to nitrogen, good data were collected over two years
at the sandy loam site. Results from the latter site are summarized below:
Year 1 - urea vs. liquid 28% N
Year 2 - dry fertilizer (20% ammonium nitrate + 80% urea) vs. liquid
In year 2, ammonium nitrate was applied to all dry fertilizer treatments
at time of planting. The timing of urea application was varied according
to the original testing procedure.
Starter fertilizer comprised of phosphorus and potassium was applied
to plots based on soil test recommendations taken each year.
With the fertilizer zone-tiller performing at least as well as the liquid
28% N applicator, the data clearly suggest that it is a viable alternative
in conservation tillage systems.
(From Technology Transfer Report Summaries - A. Hayes, L. Cruickshank,
The objective of this 2 year study was to test a machine designed to
inject dry forms of nitrogen in no-till or reduce-till systems.
The success of the new machine was assessed by comparing its performance
to the standard 28% nitrogen injected mid-row. Performance was based on
collecting and evaluating data with regards to: yield, biomass, and nitrogen
Year one of the study compared injection of liquid 28% N and dry urea
at two different application times (planting and 6-leaf growth stage). The
urea was placed 25 cm from plants on both sides (split application). The
liquid 28% N was injected between the rows at the midpoint (approximately
45 cm from the plant). Year one results indicated liquid 28% nitrogen showed
no significant yield increase. The trial results also indicated a trend
to higher yields when fertilizer was applied at planting as opposed to the
In year 2 of the study it was decided that the urea treatment would have
20% of the total N applied as starter N (ammonium nitrate) to try to offset
the slight yield disadvantage measured in year 1. Yield results for year
2 demonstrated a significant yield advantage for the urea injection system.
With the dry unit actually outperforming the 28% system, the researchers
concluded the system was a success.
The study goes beyond the testing and development of a dry fertilizer
The comparable performance of the urea system could be attributed to
some combination of split placement (both sides of row), and starter N in
ammonium nitrate for 20% of total N.
treat the study as two separate year trials since both the treatments
and actual machine changed significantly from year 1 to year 2.
the trial results focus as much on product placement as product type.
placement for liquid 28% N was 45 cm off the row.
in year 1, placement for urea was 25 cm off the row.
in year 2, the urea treatment received a boost with an ammonium nitrate
SWEEP Report #28 - The Effect of Split Applications
of Nitrogen on Corn Yield Under Ridge and No-Till Conditions.
SWEEP Report #66 - Volume V. Economic Assessment
of the Technology Evaluation and Development (TED) Program
LSP 7018 - Nitrogen Research with Corn
Using Conservation Tillage
Future Research: ( ) indicates reviewers suggestion for
priority, A - high, C - low.
None required. Research evaluating the best placement and timing of nitrogen
applications in conservation tillage systems is ongoing.
Thursday, May 19, 2011 02:24:23 PM