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Seeing patterns in the wheat again this year as it relates to last fall's NH3 bands. Applied on 12" spacing at probably 4" deep last October and wheat seeded early May. Pea stubble and of course we are dry here but some moisture. I think these patterns are more visible in cereals because the seed row is continuous and any missing/stunted plants are very noticeable.



The missing seeds look like this.



My broadcast urea fields look great and my best crop ever was grown(two years ago) with broadcast urea and shallow incorporation with tillage. I'm starting to wonder if rates are getting a bit too high to concentrate them in a band. Even last year I had some corn planted same direction as urea banded a few days prior and it didn't like that at all.

I am surprised that NH3 can hang on like this even after a winter and affect a crop in such an adverse way. Having said this the field that showed these symptoms worst last year yielded the best, but mostly because it caught an extra inch of rain...ha ha
 

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So the seeds didnt germinate in the nh3 rows? Could it possibly be that where the nh3 went its much drier and softer therefore the seeds just didnt get proper seed/soil contact to germ?
Some didn't right in the heart of the band, and those seeds would be at a shallower depth than the NH3 too. You can see a seed in second picture, kinda looks reddish.

Pretty sure it's not soil contact, we did get a 7/10" rain and these seeds are not really even sprouted. Also as band tapers off there is stunted plants and most developed plants are in between bands.

I seem to recall Bourgault promoting their MRB as a sterilizing factor for weeds, but that is a 20-24" band. No way to get a MRB down on 7.5" spacing I don't think either.

I have zero interest in top-dress, just need to find a safer way to get it on up front. Can't have this happening all the time.
 

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What was the pounds per acre rate of NH3 on this field and had you been applying a lower rate in the past with the same NH3 tool and not noticing this issue.

I've noted the opposite scenario where narrow greener strips prevailed and a more pale green colour to the plants in the area between the dark lush green bands due to a lack of nitrogen migration.
 

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So what kind of rate of NH3 are you using and/or what width of knife are you using. I do not use NH3 anymore, but did see some of this last yr around here with rates well within what I would call well within safe limits - 100-125lb actual N. It was very dry last yr here too and saw these kind of strips even though pretty sure it was not banded even at 4" in Fall before. I have used over 150lbs actual N(NH3) in years past where there was plenty of moisture and canola and never saw this. I did notice where I have some perennial sloughs(when it not dry) I had spiked last Fall - did not work anything else. We are relatively dry this Spring as well and these lower spots where you would think best crop should be that was spiked are the plainest so think that may be more your problem.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
What was the pounds per acre rate of NH3 on this field and had you been applying a lower rate in the past with the same NH3 tool and not noticing this issue.

I've noted the opposite scenario where narrow greener strips prevailed and a more pale green colour to the plants in the area between the dark lush green bands due to a lack of nitrogen migration.
Don't have my notes right in front of me but wheat was all around 180#-200#/acre actual, other field on same section but canola stubble is not showing symptoms as much and it would be somewhat better moisture. Saw this last year on some soybean stubble too, but spring applied in that case. Perhaps the pulse stubble is giving additional effect?

Yeah I can remember seeing the crop green over the bands and slowly spreading, probably the rise in rates changes things somewhat over the years. In the instance you speak of maybe evenly spread fertilizer would be a benefit too?
 

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So what kind of rate of NH3 are you using and/or what width of knife are you using. I do not use NH3 anymore, but did see some of this last yr around here with rates well within what I would call well within safe limits - 100-125lb actual N. It was very dry last yr here too and saw these kind of strips even though pretty sure it was not banded even at 4" in Fall before. I have used over 150lbs actual N(NH3) in years past where there was plenty of moisture and canola and never saw this. I did notice where I have some perennial sloughs(when it not dry) I had spiked last Fall - did not work anything else. We are relatively dry this Spring as well and these lower spots where you would think best crop should be that was spiked are the plainest so think that may be more your problem.
Just a regular 3/4" Bourgault knife and high pressure Max-Quip system. Application is very even and pattern is consistent across chisel plow, but not always across field. I may need to go looking in field to see where pattern is most expressed and what a possible reason could be for it.

I know there are guys that say NH3 is death to the soil but this farm has used it almost exclusively for 50 years and it has worked great. I'm just concerned at what this might be: Salt index too high? Some other factor?
 

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just a thought, don't you have a disk drill? The reason for this, my buddy had this same pattern in his corn a couple years ago, his father-in law put NH3 and MAP down with a Concord with wide sweeps on at an angle. Long story short, they found that the depth was off because of the worked chisel verse the hard not worked. Their pattern was in line with the rear sweeps. They put a rolling basket/packer and a good harrow on, and no more pattern.
 

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just a thought, don't you have a disk drill? The reason for this, my buddy had this same pattern in his corn a couple years ago, his father-in law put NH3 and MAP down with a Concord with wide sweeps on at an angle. Long story short, they found that the depth was off because of the worked chisel verse the hard not worked. Their pattern was in line with the rear sweeps. They put a rolling basket/packer and a good harrow on, and no more pattern.
Pattern exists from the NH3 band not seeding depth. Seed depth will be as close to even as you will get. NH3 depth must have been pretty even too, as you can see in picture every 12" shank looks pretty similar, can't tell front from back on there. Unless I am mis-understanding your take on this?
 

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I've never applied rates near that high although the headlands will end up getting doubled up on a portion and so that zone often ends up greener/later/lodged in a decent moisture year and is not very manageable and would often be a frozen disaster if applied at that rate across a field scale on years like that in this area due to our narrow growing season window.

I can only speculate that the soil reaction to tillage and moisture content when the NH3 was applied may cause the NH3 to bind in a narrower zone and each stubble type would have varying ability to hold onto the NH3 and again just speculating based on your own findings.

Also in theory you're pea stubble would most likely already be higher in nitrogen vs the canola stubble due to the peas nodulating and drawing its nitrogen requirements from the air, so in effect more nitrogen available come spring for the crop seeded into the pea stubble.
 

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Have you ever considered applying N-Serve with a Raven Side-Kick?
I have looked at it and so far I can't justify the added cost on our operation yet. But I wonder if it would help prevent the burn your seeing? The main benefit of the N-Serve they claim, is that you can safely start applying NH3 earlier in the fall.
Some agro's are adding it in the tank for guys, so they don't need to worry about the Side-Kick. However, I am not comfortable with that stuff going through the cooler and flow controller.
 

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Have you ever considered applying N-Serve with a Raven Side-Kick?
I have looked at it and so far I can't justify the added cost on our operation yet. But I wonder if it would help prevent the burn your seeing? The main benefit of the N-Serve they claim, is that you can safely start applying NH3 earlier in the fall.
Some agro's are adding it in the tank for guys, so they don't need to worry about the Side-Kick. However, I am not comfortable with that stuff going through the cooler and flow controller.
Summer fill urea is already as cheap as fall NH3 so added cost like that would make NH3 of no interest to me. Heard it's super corrosive too, which is probably what you are concerned about as well. Otherwise haven't done much research at all on it.

Is that a pink seed I see!?
Kinda, but I didn't treat it.:wink:
 

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Its the complete opposite here, in corn the NH3 band will be a nice dark green color and the corn between knives will be paler. I run 140# NH3 where I don't have manure and come back with side dress 32%. There are guys here that will put on 200-225# NH3 and not have the no germ issue you have but still have early streaking like I described.


Kind of surprised that that would be an NH3 that you are having thee but signs sure point to it.
 

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The only easy available moisture this spring is at that 4 inch zone and those roots hit it 100% ,
My guess
 

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Crops on pea stubble here are way thinner and poorer germed than any other kind of stubble. Thought it was odyssey carryover, but after extensive looking it appears to be that it was just too dry in the pea stubble and the in row phosphate killed the seeds. I was using 100 lbs of 11-52 on 10" spacing with a 2" knife. Moisture seemed good at seeding because of the snow that fell a few days before, but it seemed that that moisture soaked in quickly past the seed row and dried out enough for the damage or perhaps the many days of cold and freezing nights made the seed damage worse from the fertilizer with the seed.

My guess is that the bands of NH3 dried out the soil and you have damage from your high rates of seed placed fertilizer.
 

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There were instances up here where nh3 applied in 2017 affected 2018 crop because of high nitrates iirc.
This year was cold then hot. Then hot and dry. Nothing has mineralized or converted and been dispersed. Hence the “hot” strips. Seeing strange things here again. The weather is the reason.
 

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just a thought, don't you have a disk drill? The reason for this, my buddy had this same pattern in his corn a couple years ago, his father-in law put NH3 and MAP down with a Concord with wide sweeps on at an angle. Long story short, they found that the depth was off because of the worked chisel verse the hard not worked. Their pattern was in line with the rear sweeps. They put a rolling basket/packer and a good harrow on, and no more pattern.
Did you say if it was a disc drill? If it was a shank style drill, what opener and what speed?
 

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My guess is the lack of moisture has somewhat stranded the NH3 where it was applied. Any decent amount of moisture would move through the soil allowing it to disperse a little bit better.
 

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Crops on pea stubble here are way thinner and poorer germed than any other kind of stubble. Thought it was odyssey carryover, but after extensive looking it appears to be that it was just too dry in the pea stubble and the in row phosphate killed the seeds. I was using 100 lbs of 11-52 on 10" spacing with a 2" knife. Moisture seemed good at seeding because of the snow that fell a few days before, but it seemed that that moisture soaked in quickly past the seed row and dried out enough for the damage or perhaps the many days of cold and freezing nights made the seed damage worse from the fertilizer with the seed.

My guess is that the bands of NH3 dried out the soil and you have damage from your high rates of seed placed fertilizer.
My thoughts exactly, Pea stubble is a bitch to get things even if the top is too dry.
 
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