John Haarstad’s urea-sidedress bar can also be used as a deep bander by moving the row units 15 inches. Designed and built by Sheldon Stevermer, a Wells, Minn., farmer and B&D Metalworks engineer, the 30-ft. bar extends to 40 and 45 ft. and pulls a Montag 9-ton steerable cart. The openers are Dawn 6000s. This is Haarstad’s first year sidedressing. Based in Carlisle, Minn., he is skip-row sidedressing on 60-inch centers. Skip-row sidedressing is endorsed by the University of Illinois (pdf, page 15) because it avoids injecting N into a wheel track, where N losses can be greatest, and using a smaller tractor means less compaction.
Spoon-feeding nitrogen makes agronomic and economic sense. These guidelines will help you get the best return on your nitrogen investment.
Sidedress corn at the V5 to V6 corn stage (five or six collared leaves), when the plants are about 20 inches tall, says University of Minnesota Corn Specialist Jeff Coulter.
Heavy spring rainfall does not automatically indicate a heavy nitrogen loss if soils are below 50° F, according to University of Minnesota research.
Skip-row sidedressing works because a relatively small portion of corn roots can absorb all the nutrients, according to the University of Illinois. Because the method supplies nitrogen on one side of each row, injecting nitrogen between every other row maintains yields while reducing power requirements, and increasing maneuverability between rows can cut compaction.