Starter Fertilizer Applications Rates and Methods for Conventional and No-Tillage Cotton. 1993 Tennessee and Louisiana Data

D.D. Howard, R.L. Hutchinson


Starter fertilizer application methods accepted for cotton production include banding two inches to the side and two inches below the planted seed (2x2) and surface banding over the planted seed. Recent research indicates that low fertilizer rates applied in direct contact with the seed may increase yields. Research was initiated in Tennessee on a Loring silt loam and in Louisiana on a Gigger silt loam evaluating applying in-furrow (I-F) starter fertilizer rates compared with 2x2 and surface band application methods for conventional (CT) and no-tillage (NT) cotton. The Loring silt loam tested high in extractable P and K while the Gigger silt loam tested high in extractable P and medium in extractable K. The experimental design was a randomized complete block with treatments replicated five times on the Loring and six times on the Gigger soils. The fertilizer 11-37-0 was applied at 1.5, 3.0, and 4.5 gal/A I-F and at 7.5 gal/A either banded 2x2 or surface banded. A total of 80-40-60 lb/A of N, P2O5, and K2O, respectively, was applied either broadcast or as a combination of broadcast plus starter for all treatments except one. One treatment was established evaluating broadcasting 80-0-60 lb/A of N, P2O5, and K2O, respectively. Ammonium nitrate, concentrated superphosphate and muriate of potash were the broadcast fertilizer materials. The cultivar DPL 50 was planted in 40 inch rows by mid-April in Louisiana and mid-May in Tennessee. Early season plant measurements included: plants per foot of row, leaf surface area, plant height, leaves per plant, and leaf size.

Plant stand was the only measurement affected by fertilizer placement for both tillage systems at both locations. In-furrow applying 3.0 and 4.5 gal/A of 11-37-0 reduced plant stand relative to the other treatments. Even though differences in plant stands were observed due to fertilizer placement, yield differences were not as distinct. No-till yields on the Loring were reduced by I-F applying 3.0 and 4.5 gal/A of 11-37-0 relative to the other treatments. Yields on the Gigger and CT yields on the Loring were unaffected by fertilizer placement methods.

Reprinted from Proceedings of the 1994 Beltwide Cotton Conferences pg. 1576
©National Cotton Council, Memphis TN

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Document last modified Sunday, Dec 6 1998