North Dakota State University * Dickinson Research Extension Center
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Methods of Fertilizer Application on Corn

In 1960, a trial to determine the effects of different methods of fertilizer application on corn was begun at the Dickinson Station. In this experiment, the following three fertilizer treatments are compared:

  1. Starter application of 100 pounds ammonium phosphate (8-32-0) per acre at seeding time in which the fertilizer was placed two inches to one side and two inches below the seed.
  2. Broadcast application of 100 pounds ammonium phosphate (8-32-0) before plowing.
  3. Combination of broadcast application plus offset application as shown in (A) and (B) above.
  4. Check, where no fertilizer is applied.
Table 8. Corn Silage Yields on Different Fertilizer Application Methods, 1960
  Treatment 1 2 3 Av./Lbs.
Yield @ 70% Moisture
A. Starter Application at Seeding 5052 2143 3676 3624
B. Broadcast & Plowdown only 3148 3148 3200 3165
C. Plowdown plus Starter Application 4600 5750 4750 5033
D. Check 5720 2516 5063 4433

Fertilized corn usually makes more rapid early spring growth, and for this reason, weed control may be improved. Whether this reason alone will be enough to continue use of fertilizer in southwestern North Dakota is a question that remains to be answered.

The importance of the question of the use of fertilizer on our corn crop is pointed out in the 1959 U. S. Agricultural Census which shows that approximately one million dollars worth of fertilizer was used on 4,418 farms in North Dakota in 1959. If we are to make the most of our fertilizer dollar, we need to know which crops give us the most profitable returns from commercial fertilizer application.

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