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Here’s our question of the week from a strip-tiller:

Q: I just ordered a system with a twin bin dry fertilizer system. I would like to make 1 pass in the fall. Does anyone have a problem with putting on urea in the fall, or are there other ways to apply N that I haven't thought of yet? I'll put some 28% down with my pre and some with my planter, but I'm curious what works well for people?

A: We live in western Minnesota where our soils are clay based and leeching is not a problem. We have in the past applied up to half our N needs in the fall with no yield reduction. We would love to apply even more N in the fall but because our Montag cart is a standard flow (not high flow), we can only get about 300 pounds of fertilizer per acre (more if its P and K only) through the metering system and maintain our desired speed. So, we choose between desired speed and applying more N. 

          - Jon Olson, Minn. 

A: I farm in central Iowa. I have just a single bin high flow Montag cart. The past several years I have been putting down ESN (encapsulated urea). I put down around 150 pounds of it which is around 70 units of N. I have had zero issues with it. I will also run some AMS in the strip which gives you some N as well. My total N program is around 170 pounds — so between ESN, AMS and using 32% as a carrier in the spring is how I get my N on. Although I just purchased a set of Y drops which I hope to use this year and do instead of as much 32% as a carrier. Since I'm nice and flat I'm going to give that a try with my old Hagie sprayer. Best of luck with your new twin bin! Montag in Emmetsburg, Iowa is great to get parts from. They ship it out fast.

          - James Hepp, Rockwell City, Iowa

A: Use of urea will vary depending on when you are applying your N. If you are strip-tilling before the soil temperature is down to 50 degrees, you will not want to put much urea down in the fall. As soil temperatures cool to below 50 degrees, a higher proportion of your N can be applied in the fall. This can be fine tuned for your conditions. 

          - Paul Groneberg, Hoffman, Minn.

A: One thing I have heard from a few strip-till guys is that banding N makes a much more green, healthy looking crop in the fall when other programs are firing and yellow. My seed dealer walked my first strip-till ground and was pleased and shocked to see how low we got on N and how green the corn was!

          - Jon Stevens, Rush City, Minn. 

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