Broadcast versus Band Fertilizer Applications on Vegetable Crops

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  • 1 Professor, Biological and Agricultural Engineering Department, Hammond Research Station, Louisiana Agricultural Experiment Station, Louisiana State University Agricultural Center, 21549 Old Covington Highway, Hammond, LA, 70403.
  • 2 Associate professor, Hammond Research Station, Louisiana Agricultural Experiment Station, Louisiana State University Agricultural Center, 21549 Old Covington Highway, Hammond, LA, 70403.
  • 3 Head, Agricultural Chemistry Department, Louisiana Agricultural Experiment Station, Louisiana State University Agricultural Center, P.O. Box 25055, Baton Rouge, LA, 70894.

A study was conducted to evaluate the effect of banding or broadcasting fertilizer on yield and quality of turnip (Brassica rapa L. Rapifera group), sweetcorn (Zea mays var. rugosa Bonaf.), and cabbage (Brassica oleracea L. Capitata group). Preplant fertilizer was applied broadcast before bedding, broadcast after bedding, or banded after bedding. Sidedress applications were broadcast or banded on the beds. Differences in plant size and vigor were noticed early in the season in the spring turnip crop, with the growth in the broadcast-and-bed treatment appearing superior. The yield at first harvest and total yield were lower for turnip grown with the bed-and-broadcast treatment. No differences in yield of cabbage or sweetcorn resulted from the treatments. Few differences in turnip stem-to-leaf ratio were noted due to fertilizer treatment. Few differences in yield due to sidedress method were noted with any of the crops. Analysis of soil samples in a grid pattern across the beds showed that the location of the fertilizer after the broadcast-and-bed treatment was similar to the placement of the banded fertilizer. Since broadcasting can be done with a faster, wider applicator, growers could reduce costs by broadcasting fertilizer and obtain yields that are at least equivalent to the yields obtained by banding the fertilizer.

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