Application of an in-furrow 10-34-0 starter fertilizer at planting is generally considered to be a paying proposition in the Red River Valley and southern Minnesota sugarbeet areas. Often-cited benefits include increased early season vigor, improved crop stress tolerance, a typical boost in final recoverable sugar per acre, and optimal use of applied phosphorus inputs.
Three products were tested all four years:
• Soygreen®, a dry water soluble powder 6% Iron ORTHO-ORTHO EDDHA chelate.
• Man-Gro DF, a highly concentrated water-soluble manganese powder designed for foliar application. It is designed to combat glyphosate-induced manganese deficiency.
• Boron, applied using Tetra-Bor 10, a product that contains 10% boron as well as some macronutrients.
Another product was tested three years (2009-11): Redline™, which contains many nutrients required for plant growth, as well as the same technology used in Soygreen. (A 3.0-gal application of Redline provides 1.0 lb of Soygreen.)
EB Mix®, a product containing a blend of nitrogen, sulfur, boron, iron, manganese and zinc, was tested in 2010 2011 along with the above products.
The 2011 test included all of the above products, plus:
• Riser®, which is 7-17-3 with micronutrients and ACA® technology.
• Radiate®, which contains two different plant growth regulators.
• Nachurs 6-24-6.
The combined data from 2009 through 2011 show all those treatments to be statistically significant when compared to the untreated plot. Using any of those in-furrow treatments should increase production. Redline and Soygreen + 10-34-0 produced a revenue percent of mean that was greater than standard 10-34-0.
The data covering 2008 through 2011 (Table 2) indicate no significant difference among that group of in-furrow products. There was a trend, however, for Soygreen at 1.0 lb/ac and Man-Gro at 3.0 lbs/ac to be beneficial.
Overall, the four years of product tests showed that the inclusion of pop-up fertilizer was beneficial to sugarbeet production — and, the combination of Soygreen and pop-up fertilizer significantly increased production.
Future work should include investigation of in-furrow products with a “holistic” nutrient approach. The interest in a holistic approach is a result of research that has demonstrated the advantages of fertilizer products applied individually or in a package. Such research should evaluate methods, rates and timing of application in order to provide the most benefit.
* Mark Bredehoeft is research agronomist with Southern Minnesota Beet Sugar Cooperative, Renville.