Banding phosphorous (P) and potassium (K) with strip-till results in a bigger return on investment (ROI) and higher yields than broadcasting P and K with no-till, according to a recent Beck’s PFR study.

“After 3 years of conducting this study, we believe additional data is needed before drawing concrete conclusions. However, we have observed a fairly consistent trend favoring strip-till banding over no-till broadcast,” the study says.

The 3-year study compared conventional till broadcast, no-till broadcast and strip-till banded systems, and different application rates of MAP and potash with each system (see table below). The strip-till system applied fertilizer with a banding bar, while no-till and conventional used an air delivery system. Screen-Shot-2023-11-15-at-10.55.11-AM.png

The strip-till banded, 25% application rate of potash (37.5 pounds) and MAP (37.5 pounds) produced the highest ROI per acre of $47.54 in 2022. The 100% application rate of potash (150 pounds) and MAP (150 pounds) with the strip-till banded system produced the top yield of 217 bushels per acre. 

Another 2-year multi-location study showed a 4.1-bushel advantage to banding P and K with a shank in the spring instead of the fall.

“Because this fertility program has a nitrogen component, it’s not surprising to see a small benefit to spring fertility applications. However, manpower and logistics may limit the feasibility of this practice for many farmers,” the study says.


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