Strategies for Improving the Crop Safety and Efficiency of Starter Fertilizer for Saskatchewan Crops

Crops were planted in flats of soil are prepared to simulate a seed-bed and a low-disturbance opener configuration (10% seed bed utilization). Eleven commonly grown Saskatchewan crops (wheat, barley, canary seed, flax, canola, mustard, field pea, chickpea, drybean, alfalfa, brome grass), for which tolerance to regular seed-placed P fertilization was determined in a previous 1 year ADF project, will be placed in the furrows in the soil. The treatment comparisons were be conventional 12-51-0 fertilizer versus the a polymer coated controlled release P fertilizer. Eight different rates of fertilizer were used, and treatments were be replicated six times under two different moisture regimes: high evaporative loss and low evaporative loss. Parameters measured will be emergence counts, plant biomass after one month, and phosphorus uptake. Supply rates of P will also be measured using PRS probes. Combinations of P fertilizer alone and with 15 kg K2O/ha placed in the seed-row will be evaluated to determine the tolerance and response of the crops to both P and K in the seed-row.


17 Feb 2006


In low disturbance direct seeding systems, limitations exist on the amount of starter fertilizer phosphorus (P) and potassium (K) that can be safely placed in the seed-row due to narrow opener configurations, yet responses to starter nutrient can be especially pronounced in these systems. A previous one year Agriculture Development Fund (ADF) project “Crop tolerance and response to seed-row phosphorus fertilizer” completed in May 2005 has provided valuable new information on the sensitivity of crops to conventional phosphorus fertilizer placed in the seed-row. New controlled release P fertilizer forms are available that may allow greater rates of fertilizer P to be safely placed in the seed-row and also offer greater recovery of applied fertilizer P. Increased crop recovery of fertilizer P is of benefit economically and environmentally. The proposed one year project, conducted under controlled environment conditions, will examine crop tolerance and response to a new controlled release fertilizer P product, alone and in combination with potassium.