What's Ahead for Application Practices?

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This document explores the current and future trends in fertilizer application practices in the United States. It highlights the significance of proper application methods and their impact on fertilizer production and marketing systems. The distribution of fertilizer materials applied is examined, including anhydrous ammonia, granular or solid fertilizers, and fluids. The document discusses the potential advantages of the dual application of ammonia and mixtures and the use of granular homogeneous mixtures. Various equipment for applying granular and fluid mixtures, such as pneumatic-type and high-flotation applicators, is presented. The document also addresses the challenges and costs associated with the custom application of ammonia and the conversion of anhydrous ammonia to liquid aqua ammonia for easier and more cost-effective application. It emphasizes the increasing popularity of solid fertilizer application through custom application methods using high-flotation applicators. The financial considerations and minimum acreage required for break-even are analyzed. Furthermore, the document explores the growing demand for fluid fertilizers and nitrogen solutions due to their ease of handling, uniform application, accurate measurement, and ability to mix pesticides. It discusses the equipment for applying fluid fertilizers and the potential benefits of applying fluids through irrigation systems or during tillage operations. The adoption of minimum tillage practices and the advantages of no-till operations are also examined. The concept of strip application, which lies between broadcasting and banding of fertilizers, is introduced. Promising results of strip application for phosphate and potash fertilizers are discussed, along with the equipment used for this method.
Fertilizers, Fertilizer application