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Is starter worth it?

Agriculture.com Staff 07/06/2010 @ 5:22pm

A member of Agriculture Online's Crop Scouting Talk group recently posted that he's looking at getting a new planter and thinking about not putting fertilizer on the planter this time.

"If we don't we would increase our broadcast fertilizer and would be able to put more nutrients on at less cost than we do now with liquid starter," SFO posted to the Agriculture Online Crop Scouting Talk group at the end of June.

"What bothers me is that I remember what a row of corn looked like if a unit plugged and didn't have starter on it." He asks if other farmers have switched and if they are satisfied with the results.

Farmers posting replies have mixed reactions. Some say it's especially important in no-till operations. Others say starter is a waste of time that just eats up extra money.

A member of Agriculture Online's Crop Scouting Talk group recently posted that he's looking at getting a new planter and thinking about not putting fertilizer on the planter this time.

Starter fertilizer is defined as "the placement of small quantities of nutrients in a concentrated zone in close proximity to the point of seed placement at the time of planting," according to a NebGuide from the University of Nebraska Extension. Though starter fertilizer is generally made up of two or more nutrients, starter refers to the practice, rather than the materials used. The fertilizer can be strategically placed directly below the seed, to the side of the seed, or to the side and below the seed.

NebGuide - University of Nebraska Extension guide offers specifics for Nebraska farmers.

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