Beck’s Practical Research Farm in Ohio conducted side-by-side trials in 2017, comparing the Seed-Squirter to conventional in-furrow dribbling of the start-up liquid fertilizer known as PureGrade Diamond.
The corn was on 30-inch spacing and priced at US$3.86 per bushel. The PureGrade Diamond was a 6-24-6 blend priced at $3.64 per gallon.
The control was in-furrow PureGrade at five gallons per acre, yielding 229.2 bushels. When the in-furrow was cut in half, down to 2.5 gallons per acre, yield surprisingly jumped to 234.4 bushels per acre.
When the five-gallon rate went down through the Seed-Squirter, yield increased slightly to 234.5 bu. per acre. This was a 5.3 bu. increase over the control rate, for return on investment of $20.46 per acre.
When the 2.5-gallon rate went down through the Seed-Squirter, yield went up to 236.9 bu. for a 2.5 bu. benefit over the half-rate in-furrow. The ROI was $9.65 per acre. This rate also gave a population boost of 1,500 plants over the control rate.
According to Beck’s summary, “CapstanAG’s Seed-Squirter Application System is designed to more precisely apply starter fertilizer. If fertilizer can be applied more precisely, could we increase yields? By getting this fertilizer closer to the seed, we wondered if we could lower rates and still increase overall yields.
“Our first-year data indicates that yes, we can increase yields by delivering starter in closer proximity to the seed. We observed yield increases with the use of the Seed-Squirter Application System regardless of starter rate tested.”