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4 Benefits of Banding Fertilizer with Strip Tillage

Posted on November 09, 2023

With harvest wrapping up in many areas across the country, it is time to start thinking about fall tillage and fertilizer applications. One of the tillage practices growers might consider is strip-till, a combination of no-till and conventional tillage that allows growers to band-apply fertilizer at the same time.

Here are four benefits of banding fertilizer with strip-till applications:  

#1: Better Nutrient Placement

Banding fertilizer with tillage allows for the nutrients to be directly placed in the soil and reduces the risk of nutrient loss. There is a greater risk of losing nutrients when they are applied on top of the soil since they can be tied up by the residue left on the soil surface. Crops can optimize their nutrient uptake with fertilizer banding because the nutrients are placed directly in the root zone allowing for the crops to have better access to the nutrients.

#2: Saves Time and Money

Banding fertilizer with strip tillage allows growers to save time by only making a trip across the field one time for tillage and fertilizer application instead of in two different trips. Fewer trips across the field help growers save money at the same time because they are saving on fuel and other equipment inputs.

#3: Improves Soil Health

Fewer trips across the field can help to reduce soil compaction from farming implements which can help boost soil and plant health. Soil compaction makes it harder for water and nutrients to infiltrate through the soil and get to plant roots, negatively affecting overall plant health.

During the following growing season, crop roots can move through the soil profile more easily when strip tillage is completed in the previous fall. Since the soil has minimal disturbance, the soil profile is intact and compaction is reduced. Additionally, the banding of fertilizer in the soil allows the roots to have direct access to nutrients, increasing root mass.

#4: Higher Yields

Banding fertilizers places the nutrients right where the plant needs them for optimal use in the following growing season. Having nutrients readily available to crops during critical growth stages helps to reduce stress on the crops, allowing them to focus on growth and production. Banding fertilizer also reduces nutrient competition in the field since the nutrients are in a concentrated area. This means that applied nutrients go directly to the crop and are not absorbed by unwanted plants in fields.

Boosting Fall Strip-Till Applications with MicroMark® DG

The Andersons MicroMark DG products offer growers a micronutrient blend that can be banded with their strip tillage in the fall and boost crop health the next growing season. MicroMark DG products are granular micronutrients that disperse into thousands of microparticles when they encounter moisture. These particles then move through the soil system and into the root zone of the crop for uptake. 

If you have any questions about the MicroMark DG products, please fill out our contact form and our sales team will reach out to you directly.

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