Banding fertiliser and crop protection products either on top of the furrow or with the seed is becoming increasingly popular, particularly for hybrid canola and dry seeding, where seed cost is high and maximum germination is required. Australian, and in particular West Australian growers, have been global leaders in the adoption of liquid systems over the last 15 years.
Banding enables liquid UAN, trace elements, fungicides and soil ameliorants to be placed where the germinating seed can readily access them through root or coleoptile uptake. In addition to cost savings by concentrating product in the seeding furrow, additional biological activity often results from germinating seedlings coming into direct contact with treated soil. Banding is often a more flexible, targeted method of applying product than broadacre surface application or seed treatment.
Figure 1: Placement options of fertiliser and crop protection products (Source: Syngenta)
There are a wide variety of bar setups now available ranging from relatively inexpensive microtube plumbing to more evolved systems which enable variable rate application and mixing of multiple products across varying soil types. Factors to consider when designing a liquid injection system include corrosiveness and compatibilities of the product to be applied, flexibility to change rate and placement and the ability to add multiple products.
Figure 2: Various on top of furrow banding setups. Second from bottom has TeeJet caps allowing the addition of fan nozzles as opposed to dripper streams
Figure 3: A cross section view for a suggested single press and double or gang press setup
Dual placement systems provide the flexibility to place product on top of the furrow and band beneath with the seed. Split application can be an advantage where a surface applied product such as IRRIGATOR® is required to ameliorate non-wetting soils or seasonal conditions require splitting a fungicide or fertiliser.
Figure 4: Banding below the seed, placement can be modified to above the seed but there should always be a 2-3cm seed/soil separation particularly if applying with liquid UAN.
Irrespective of the liquid system you choose, consider the following handy hints to minimise teething problems with your system.
Figure 5: IRRIGATOR® – indicating early emergence benefit – Binnu 2014 S. Davies DAFWA – GRDC project DAW00204
SACOA’s IRRIGATOR® is designed to be applied on top of the furrow to alleviate non-wetting sands, improving seed germination and emergence. Since its launch over 10 years ago, impressive yield results have been achieved, particularly in dry sowing situations.
LURE H20® is designed to improve crop and pasture establishment by improving rainfall infiltration and retention in non-wetting forest gravels. Applied by boomspray and incorporated by rainfall, LURE H20® is well supported by over five years of commercial use and independent trial data.
LURE H20® is not designed for banding application and is not compatible with products like liquid UAN.
Figure 6: IRRIGATOR® – showing placement on top of seed to improve furrow water harvesting
SACOA will be conducting large-scale commercial demonstration trials in 2015 with a new banded product. It is a moisture attractant and retention agent to facilitate early seed germination and vigour, improve uptake of applied and bound nutrients and crop protection products.
S.Davies (2014) DAFWA – GRDC Project DAW00204
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