Tips for a nitrogen top up

Growers who reduced nitrogen rates at seeding and now would like to top up can see good results from dribble banding liquid nitrogen on the soil surface. Cindy Grant, research scientist with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada in Brandon, provides these tips:

—Urea is less prone to losses when dribble banded in the liquid UAN form than when broadcast in dry form.
—When CCC senior agronomy specialist John Mayko asked Grant how Agrotain coated urea broadcast would compare with liquid dribble banded, she said both would be about equal in terms of effectiveness. Consider relative cost when making the decision.
—For phosphorus, the economic value of a top up application is questionable. Phosphorus needs to be in the soil and as close to the seed as possible to maximum benefit. “Also, as the soil warms up, P effectiveness is lowered due to more conversion in the soil, so it’s likely that unless the soil was very deficient in P, one would likely not get an economic benefit to broadcasting or dribble banding P,” Grant says.

For more tips on fertilizer application in a wet spring, click here for a Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Initiatives factsheet.