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Sponsored: Teach Your Old Sidedress Bar Some New Tricks

If you use a coulter sidedress bar, you have new options that can increase N efficiency and reduce maintenance costs.

The root system of a corn plant is only as wide as the crop canopy. According to studies from Oklahoma State University and the University of Illinois, a majority of nitrogen is taken up from a seven-inch radius of the plant. Coulters place nitrogen at least 12 inches from the nearest root. That means the applied nitrogen must travel down 10 inch roots at a 35-degree angle, which must grow 12 to 15 inches to reach the nitrogen. That can be a week or two depending on rainfall and heat.

New research shows an alternative that boosts nitrogen efficiency. 360 Y-DROP Sidedress places nitrogen directly above the root system, which allows for faster uptake. Additionally, by applying the fertilizer at the base of the plant, only a small amount of moisture is needed to quickly move the fertilizer into the root zone.

With coulter systems, heavy rains after application can move nitrogen out of the root zone.  In dry years, the nitrogen won’t move and the open coulter slot can expose nitrogen to loss.

Testing in 2016 showed an average five-bushel yield improvement from over-the-row application compared to coulter application. A study conducted by the University of Illinois showed that 25% more of the applied nitrate was retained in the ear, indicating more efficient uptake and utilization of the applied nitrogen.

And if you own a coulter sidedress bar, you are all too familiar with the maintenance costs – worn bearings and replacing coulters. With the 360 Y-DROP Sidedress system, there is virtually no annual maintenance. After a few seasons, all it takes is the simple replacement of drag hoses.

A 360 Y-DROP Sidedress system also expands the application window, lowering the risk of missing the application. The 360 Y-DROP system generally allows for application one or two collars later.  So in wet years, that can provide another week of application.

Converting your coulter bar to a 360 Y-DROP Sidedress system is easy. A simple U-bolt mounting system utilizes your current pump and plumbing.

Stacking the deck for uptake in your favor give you efficiency with the equipment you already own without a major capital investment.

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