Ricker, of Lyons, has seen
benefits of dual-banding for
10 years. This includes less
fuel consumption. However,
after a bump in anhydrous
prices five years ago,he was
looking for a more efficient
means of application to reduce the
amount of fertilizer
used. Ricker began using Exactrix
disk openers, and dual-banding
TAPPS, or Tri-Ammonium
"You can get by with quite
a bit less total product,"
not only less nitrogen,
phosphate, as well.
"Nitrogen is cut probably close to
to 15% to 20%."
Ricker isn't the
only one adopting this method.
Although Exactrix's popularity has
mostly been a no-till
phenomenon, it has found a place
U.S. and parts of
Canada, says Guy Swanson, president of the
Dual-banding has long been part of the
for improved yields,
its anhydrous delivery
keep anhydrous in a pure liquid state
up to the injection
point using high pressure, also
known as streaming flow,
the more traditional reduced
"Exactrix is utilized in all four corners of
Kansas," Swanson notes. "Right now, we cover
about 4 million acres with Exactrix."
With Exactrix's streaming-flow
delivery, openers vary from 1 %
to 3% from the average application
rate for all openers, also known
as coefficient of variation. In traditional systems, this
number is 20% or more.
"Each band is under such high
pressure, up to 350 psi, and each part gets delivered
evenly," Swanson says. "If you get up on a slope
and you are trying to reduce your pressure, you can.
- With rising fertilizer and fuel
costs, farmers look to get the most from inputs.
- Exactrix streaming flow cuts
anhydrous use, makes more uniform application.
- Combined with dual-banding, Exactrix
reduces fertilizer and improves yield.
flow first emerged as an alternative to
pressure-reducing flow application
ammonia by Tennessee Valley Authority
community began to understand
that if it's
a streaming flow as compared to a
need to use as much," Swanson says. "Over
that if we could
somehow make ammonia flow as
then we would be able to really
to the next level."
For Ricker, streaming
flow has brought
crop is all one
solid color, and you're
less total product," he
the biggest part of
the savings on it
row is getting exactly
what the one next
to it is
This is thanks to the
the injection point.
forms right out of the nozzle,"
that's in the ground
Exactrix systems are found
on numerous machines built
for dual-banding, which
fertilizer even more
by creating TAPPS. Reacting ammonia and
phosphate creates the polymer on the go. "That crystal
that's in the band is great for crop nutrient uptake,"
Swanson says. "It really brings it on."
The crystal is a polymer, which keeps calcium away from the
of phosphate is calcium.
to keep it in a
polymer form," Swanson
is achieved by simply
the pressure and injecting those
materials so they collide and react.
producer's benefit is that the phosphates,
of the sudden, are more available
another piece to the TAPPS puzzle:
Thio Sulfate, or ATS.
for nitrogen stabilization, and without
it, the formula isn't complete. But it
also requires some changes. Since
ATS is toxic
to the seed, it must be banded deeper and
between the rows.
you have achieved N
you have made P more available, and
you have used less N,"
"You can raise a few
more bushels, and
need to use as much of the expensive
Ricker has seen yields jump 5% to 8% in
wheat, corn, rye
and sunflowers. "It will pay
for itself fairly quickly, just in the savings on
says. "In a good year,
have noticeably better yields."
As Swanson says, timing
is important. Ricker
put some of it down
wheat and sidedressed it on standing
wheat. If we do that in February or
early March, it seems we get more in the grain
form versus the heavy straw load ...
The timing of
that seems to help us as making
less straw and making more grain."
By dual-banding with uniform application, less
is more, Swanson says. Too much fertilizer
can result in losing
"You can apply a lot
of P and be
he notes. "Most
of these nutrients are way over applied."
using less, farmers can raise their net gain $150 an acre,
making dual-banding particularly appealing to younger
farmers with fewer acres. "If you're a young...aggressive
farmer who wants to grow the farm, this is absolutely
critical in pulling it off".