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Thread: Cultan/ Spoke Wheel Fert Injection?

  1. #1
    Willscale
    Guest

    Cultan/ Spoke Wheel Fert Injection?

    Been meaning to do this for a few years but finally had a chat with the guy who does the Spoke wheel injection of AN + S down here and he's willing to do a couple of no till fields to see how it goes - he normally does grassland.

    I will search the threads on Cultan again but can those of you guys who have looked a bit into it (slejpner, york, RTKAndrew etc.) remind me of how best to manage the approach?

    Shall I look to save on N application, may I observe less fungal pressure and when should I put it on? Guy has a 6m spoke wheel injector.

    I can't do that much of it this year as I've bought most of my dry fert but would like to see how it goes if it reduces flushes of growth.

  2. #2
    fred
    Guest

    Re: Cultan/ Spoke Wheel Fert Injection?

    Andrew Manfield is your guy , based in Yorkshire ,I am sure he's on here.

  3. #3
    Kentish_Andy
    Guest

    Re: Cultan/ Spoke Wheel Fert Injection?

    You really do need to speak to York as he is the expert on it. The first thing I would say is that your choice of fertilizer might be a problem. Try to avoid any nitrate. In terms of timing I think sjlepner goes in February when the fields will travel. I do Not think you can go too early with AS as with cultan it does Not leach. That is my semi educated opinion on the subject.

  4. #4
    Mr Bean
    Guest

    Re: Cultan/ Spoke Wheel Fert Injection?

    As you know, York & Sljepner are the ones to answer your questions.

    Using 100% ammonium sulphate is great on high mag or high calcium soils. However if the Ca/Mg balance is O.K., York told me it was possible to go to 50-50 ammonium sulphate - urea mix, by Kg of N not weight of fert. Too much urea and the slow release effect is lost. I would worry a little about needing extra lime on light acidic soils like yours, if using all ammonium sulphate.

    It's a very interesting technique, it would be good to see if it works for you.

  5. #5
    RTKAndrew
    Guest

    Re: Cultan/ Spoke Wheel Fert Injection?

    Glad to offer the experience I have gained in four years with Cultan in Yorkshire.Attachment 32079

    Chapter and verse could be written on this - and has been in German! I haven't got time this evening to do a long post but, briefly, there are a number of things going on when your create a 'depot' (concentrated placement) with your ammonium based fertiliser.

    1) the concentrated ammonium depot is stable as the soil bugs cannot break it down to nitrate over night - it will take some weeks, usually. This means the plant has a persistant source of ammonium to go with the nitrate it will get in the natural course of things. Lab and field trials show this has beneficial effects on yield.
    2) there is local acidification of the soil around the ammonium. This frees up micro nutrients which help in terms of nutrition and disease resistance.
    3) ammonium is a charged ion which will not leach as readily from the soil as nitrate so losses are reduced. There must be suitable soil/organic matter particles for it bind to, of course.
    4) putting the product in the ground with a spoke wheel means it is not locked up by surface trash and is less prone to losses to the atmosphere

    That will do for tonight!

  6. #6
    Butterwickharry
    Guest

    Re: Cultan/ Spoke Wheel Fert Injection?

    Hi,

    Happy to admit I know bugger all about this subject other than as we import the Gustrower Lime and fert spreaders, we now have access to the Gustrower Cultan system which has been used successfully in Germany and Holland for a few years now. They build the wheel units (with a replacable plastic centre valve) in stainless or aluminimum, they also supply booms up to 12 metres and complete trailed units. Not cheap but apparently on grassland yeilds are significantly increased over conventional nutrient applications. I will listen, watch and learn !

  7. #7
    RTKAndrew
    Guest

    Re: Cultan/ Spoke Wheel Fert Injection?

    I guess that I should make it clear at this point that we import the Duport injector into the UK - 12m, all stainless, choice of spoke lengths, and new hubs with bearings which do not rely on the fluid for lubrication. But as above, not the cheapest piece of kit. However, other agricultural machines do seem to have come up to meet them in price. At 15% fert savings even without any yield benefits factored in, the sums start to get quite interesting.

    I hope this doesn't relegate me to posting in the classified section only!

  8. #8
    knockie
    Guest

    Re: Cultan/ Spoke Wheel Fert Injection?

    Please post away both of you......:lolk:
    Butterwickharry....would we have chatted at Lamma?
    Wanting to find out more about Cultan myself.
    Cheers.
    SD.

  9. #9
    Butterwickharry
    Guest

    Re: Cultan/ Spoke Wheel Fert Injection?

    Hi Knockie,

    Yes I think so, you also met Heiko from the factory.

    Hi RTKAndrew,

    May be we will bump into each other as can't be too far from each other ?

    My knowlege is very limited, and it look like you have some practicle experience of the system, cirtainly the principle works and with the increasing cost of fertilisers & fuel and possibility of reducing traffic maybe the arable world will start to take it seriously ?

  10. #10
    York
    Guest

    Re: Cultan/ Spoke Wheel Fert Injection?

    Quote Originally Posted by Willscale View Post
    Been meaning to do this for a few years but finally had a chat with the guy who does the Spoke wheel injection of AN + S down here and he's willing to do a couple of no till fields to see how it goes - he normally does grassland.

    I will search the threads on Cultan again but can those of you guys who have looked a bit into it (slejpner, york, RTKAndrew etc.) remind me of how best to manage the approach?

    Shall I look to save on N application, may I observe less fungal pressure and when should I put it on? Guy has a 6m spoke wheel injector.

    I can't do that much of it this year as I've bought most of my dry fert but would like to see how it goes if it reduces flushes of growth.
    Hello Will,
    yes, I have heard of this units down in Wales. they are real "fociels" by now, must beao 12+ years old. Have even got pictures of them. Good to see them in Wales, even that the English send them out of their country long time ago. ;-)
    What you want to achieve is honorable but what you need to do is a little more thinking and planning. As other writers have rightly done it starts with the type of fertiliser you are using, the crop you want to do it, the soil and the timing.
    There is some English writing on the background of it, a good paper published by the "inventor" of the CULTAN system, Prof. K. Sommer. Just look up the webpage at: www.cultan.de. Go down to "Cultan Archiv" and than to "Cultan Artikel". It is the 2nd from the top named: Source / Sink - Relationships in Plants as Depending on Ammonium as „CULTAN“, Nitrate or Urea as Available Nitrogen Fertilizers
    This should give you some very sound basic idea what it is about.
    Others may promote this system with x% N savings. I have not done so and will never do so. Not because it can't be done and is not done but there are too many variables to make it a type.
    The company I do quite a lot of work for is operating over a dozen of 12+ m units. Some members have seen some of this units at work under various conditions.
    It is fun and this way of fertilising has not only changed my view on fertilising.
    Studieing the above mentioned writing is clearing the fog and will help for a easier discussion. Also there should be some good post's of various members in the archive here at BFF.
    York-Th. .

  11. #11
    SimonC
    Guest

    Re: Cultan/ Spoke Wheel Fert Injection?


  12. #12
    Jim Bullock
    Guest

    Re: Cultan/ Spoke Wheel Fert Injection?

    Or is it possible to get away with a less expensive alternative - in this case for maize ...photo courtesy of Swiss No-Till..

  13. #13
    Willscale
    Guest

    Re: Cultan/ Spoke Wheel Fert Injection?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Bullock View Post
    Or is it possible to get away with a less expensive alternative - in this case for maize ...photo courtesy of Swiss No-Till..
    ugh! A tine!!!

    Seriously I will have a read of the stuff and speak to the contractor again about what exactly fertiliser he is using.

  14. #14
    Niels
    Guest

    Re: Cultan/ Spoke Wheel Fert Injection?

    A couple of years ago they were the dogs dangly bits and everyone contractor here was buying one. Now you see hardly any.. It does save costs but all depends upon price of fertiliser as well. Maybe in future times it will get viable again.

  15. #15
    RTKAndrew
    Guest

    Re: Cultan/ Spoke Wheel Fert Injection?

    There are lots of ways of achieving the effect. We have put liquid ammonium based fertiliser under spuds for many years - before we even knew what we were doing and why! Just tine it in at planting.

    A tine between rows using ammonium based solid fert will work well in maize - or you can use wheels at 75cm spacing with liquid, which is what we do. Works well. One reason we have been looking at Agrisem with a view to doing something with their kit is that they offer good options for solid placement which would compliment the liquid option we have with the wheels.

    The problem with broad acre crops is getting the product under ground in spring time without big crop damage - hence the wheels. If you were prepared to be a bit more aggressive it may be possible to go under with a low disturbance tine using solid AS.

    As far as the Pattinson wheels go - they are a well known alternative, but watch the durability.

  16. #16
    knockie
    Guest

    Re: Cultan/ Spoke Wheel Fert Injection?

    I understand it is ammonium based fert you are useing, just wondering if you are mixing your own or getting somone to make it and what base product are you working with?
    Ta.
    SD.

  17. #17
    peterraugland
    Guest

    Re: Cultan/ Spoke Wheel Fert Injection?


  18. #18
    Normandyfarmer
    Guest

    Re: Cultan/ Spoke Wheel Fert Injection?

    We are currently thinking about doing CULTAN by placing all the nitrogen with the strip-till for people who work in the spring.
    Do we need AMS exclusively or would it creat the same effect with a heavy rate of dry urea ? like 250kg of urea ? We would put all the nitrogen in one pass.

    We are importing side-dressing unit from Shield Ag. They are disc unit, with a nozzle for liquid or a tine for dry fertiliser. We will mount a 12 row machine to side-dress corn this year.

    Is it mandatory to have a spikewheel to create "the cultan effect" or is it just the best practice but other can work too ? If we manage to find AMS then we might as well use it for side-dress. As we plant all row crop at the same spacing (22", 56cm) we might use it for other crop in the future, why not inject AMS for rape in the spring ?

    Thanks for the link, very interesting reading.

  19. #19
    RTKAndrew
    Guest

    Re: Cultan/ Spoke Wheel Fert Injection?

    Quote Originally Posted by knockie View Post
    I understand it is ammonium based fert you are useing, just wondering if you are mixing your own or getting somone to make it and what base product are you working with?
    Ta.
    SD.
    It is important to have a high proportion of ammonium in the fertiliser used. Urea does go through an ammonium phase when it is converted by the urease and hydrogen in the soil. There are mixed opinions on the role that urea can play.

    We know that plants don't like to take up urea because it requires them to use a lot more energy to mobilise it and convert it - so it is not good usually good for yields if the plant accesses a lot of neat urea.

    However, if the plant only really accesses the outside of the concentrated band of fertiliser, and that urea is already converted to ammonium, then it may not matter. We don't really know. The Germans do use AS and urea mixes with success. Remember, if the urea is underground there will be much reduced volatilisation losses - so you have an efficiency gain straight away. The americans developed injection wheels to put urea under ground for this reason, as I understand things.

    For a variety of reasons we have not been in position to home mix so our favourite brew has been a commercially available NPKS compound solution. Brings a lot to the party on our thin wold soils where it is difficult to maintain adequate p and k indices, and we are also short of s. The p and s components come associated with ammonium nitrogen. There is urea in the mix, though. Perhaps more than I would like.

  20. #20
    RTKAndrew
    Guest

    Re: Cultan/ Spoke Wheel Fert Injection?

    Quote Originally Posted by Normandyfarmer View Post
    We are currently thinking about doing CULTAN by placing all the nitrogen with the strip-till for people who work in the spring.
    Do we need AMS exclusively or would it creat the same effect with a heavy rate of dry urea ? like 250kg of urea ? We would put all the nitrogen in one pass.

    We are importing side-dressing unit from Shield Ag. They are disc unit, with a nozzle for liquid or a tine for dry fertiliser. We will mount a 12 row machine to side-dress corn this year.

    Is it mandatory to have a spikewheel to create "the cultan effect" or is it just the best practice but other can work too ? If we manage to find AMS then we might as well use it for side-dress. As we plant all row crop at the same spacing (22", 56cm) we might use it for other crop in the future, why not inject AMS for rape in the spring ?

    Thanks for the link, very interesting reading.
    Spike wheels are not compulsory for Cultan.

    Any concentrated point or band of ammonium based fertiliser will do the trick. It may even work to put a concentrated band of AS granules on the surface - if the rainfall is fairly high. If it is dry it will just sit there, of course. Underground is much better though. The wheels came about as a practical way of getting point sources of ammonium underground in the growing crop.

    See my post above about the urea - not sure, I'm afraid. I'll see what info I can find.

  21. #21
    Mayo
    Guest

    Re: Cultan/ Spoke Wheel Fert Injection?

    Two things. First up, ammonium/ammonia is toxic to most plants? Is putting a concentrated depot of it underground by the roots a good idea? Will this not produced a localised poisoning compared to a lower rate applied over a great area?

    Second, can plants take up urea?

  22. #22
    RTKAndrew
    Guest

    Re: Cultan/ Spoke Wheel Fert Injection?

    Attachment 32280

    Attachment 32281

    The bits above are from an IFS pamphlet. One highlights the synergies between nitrate and ammonium uptake (potash helps as well). The other extract is about the price that plants pay by trying to take up N as urea. There is quite a bit of peer reviewed research in this area - but that doesn't mean it can all be translated to the field.

    The main practical problem is getting a stable and long lived source of ammonium into the soil - as the bugs in the soil love to break ammonium into nitrate. The aim of the cultan equipment is to provide a source of ammonium that will last for a few weeks by putting it in a concentrated point source - so the ammonium doesn't have much surface area exposed to the nitrifying bacteria that feed on NH4.

  23. #23
    Willscale
    Guest

    Re: Cultan/ Spoke Wheel Fert Injection?

    Can I ask a really thick question. I will read up more a bit later on but for the purposes of getting this stuff in the ground and the fert ordered what should I ask my contractor to put on my trial field of Winter wheat and WOSR in the next few weeks?

    What fert and how much should I specify just for starting off?

  24. #24
    slejpner
    Guest

    Re: Cultan/ Spoke Wheel Fert Injection?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mayo View Post
    Two things. First up, ammonium/ammonia is toxic to most plants? Is putting a concentrated depot of it underground by the roots a good idea? Will this not produced a localised poisoning compared to a lower rate applied over a great area?

    Second, can plants take up urea?
    Anhydrous ammonia is as nasty/toxic as fert gets...destroys soil life around its application site when knifed into the ground.
    Nonetheless top N source for corn in US and others.
    Why?

    What if the localised poisoning (think high salt index rather than "poison") has some positive benefits.
    What are the naturally occurring nitrifying bacteria to make of ammonium ions concentrated in heaps or a banded line, compared with scattered all over the soil surface?

  25. #25
    slejpner
    Guest

    Re: Cultan/ Spoke Wheel Fert Injection?

    Quote Originally Posted by Willscale View Post
    Can I ask a really thick question. I will read up more a bit later on but for the purposes of getting this stuff in the ground and the fert ordered what should I ask my contractor to put on my trial field of Winter wheat and WOSR in the next few weeks?

    What fert and how much should I specify just for starting off?
    I want straight ammonium sulphate because my soil is high pH clay and can handle it.

    AMSUL will be less potent on your soil, but likely the best still agronomically, but v possibly not cost effective.

    A urea / amsul blend, about 14% N would be nice.......

    Straight urea solution...but where is your S going to come from?. Elemental? yes, but you want it in the field already.


    You might have to take what the contractor has available!


    You might get some/much of the CULTAN benefit/effect by whacking on 4/500kg top grade, 2-4mm ammonium sulphate...the bigger coarser prilled the better...NOW or even a fortnight ago given how mild it is with you.

    N factoid of the day.
    Ammonium ion picked up by plant root - mechanism starts to function at 4 degrees C
    Nitrate enters plant root starting at .................................................6 degrees C

  26. #26
    Mayo
    Guest

    Re: Cultan/ Spoke Wheel Fert Injection?

    Quote Originally Posted by RTKAndrew View Post
    Attachment 32280

    Attachment 32281

    The bits above are from an IFS pamphlet. One highlights the synergies between nitrate and ammonium uptake (potash helps as well). The other extract is about the price that plants pay by trying to take up N as urea. There is quite a bit of peer reviewed research in this area - but that doesn't mean it can all be translated to the field.

    The main practical problem is getting a stable and long lived source of ammonium into the soil - as the bugs in the soil love to break ammonium into nitrate. The aim of the cultan equipment is to provide a source of ammonium that will last for a few weeks by putting it in a concentrated point source - so the ammonium doesn't have much surface area exposed to the nitrifying bacteria that feed on NH4.
    Interesting. Plenty to go and think about, many thanks.

  27. #27
    RTKAndrew
    Guest

    Re: Cultan/ Spoke Wheel Fert Injection?

    Quote Originally Posted by Willscale View Post
    Can I ask a really thick question. I will read up more a bit later on but for the purposes of getting this stuff in the ground and the fert ordered what should I ask my contractor to put on my trial field of Winter wheat and WOSR in the next few weeks?

    What fert and how much should I specify just for starting off?
    What fert? - as above, high ammonium, preferably AS

    How much (wheat)? - the obvious starting place is RB209 or related calculator. Deduct an amount that you would 'keep up your sleeve' to add later if needed. Deduct another approx 15 to 20% to allow for the increased efficiency obtained by injecting.

    So - 220kg of N nutrient required; take off 40kg to save for later; take off another approx 15% (180 x 0.85) = 150kg to be applied as one dose.

    When? You want to make as much ammonium available to the plant as possible - bearing in mind that there will always be nitrate coming in from the soil and that the ammonium will start to break down to nitrate as soon as it is applied. So, do not apply the ammonium until the plant is in need.

    The best way of doing this that I know of is to use Stem Based Extract. By taking an extract of stem sap and analysing it for N content it has been shown that you can have a leading indicator of plant N deficiency. When the level of N drops below a critical level then you have 5 to 10 days to apply fertiliser before the plant begins to suffer. That way the plant can get the best uptake of ammonium and nitrogen efficiency is maximised - minimal leaching and residual N. This is the technique promoted in Germany.

    You still have 40kg or so to play with - look to apply this at flag leaf emergence if the crop shows N deficiency. You might want to use a SPAD meter (Yara N tester) to get a quick fix on the status of the plant. If the N supply from the soil has been more than expected then you may well not need to add the extra N - good for the pocket and the environment.

  28. #28
    York
    Guest

    Re: Cultan/ Spoke Wheel Fert Injection?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mayo View Post
    Two things. First up, ammonium/ammonia is toxic to most plants? Is putting a concentrated depot of it underground by the roots a good idea? Will this not produced a localised poisoning compared to a lower rate applied over a great area?

    Second, can plants take up urea?
    Mayo,
    1st: I rather "sterilise" 5% of the soil profile than have 100% of the profile influenced into the wrong direction.
    2nd: yes they can. But it is least desirable than nitrate.
    Fertiliser placement & saving:
    I have seen more farmers loosing faith in this system because they have been told to be able to achieve big sayings in N application than anything else. I'm never going to promote this system with such a claim. However it is possible but to achieve this there are so many variables out of my control. If you promote it with savings it is a "written aspect" and over here you can be sued if not archived. Our approach has always been that it is not costing the farmer more per unit of N in comparison than doing it on his own in broadcasting. Bear in mind, we have, at least had, accesss over here to rather low cost sources as we have a large chemical industry.
    Stability:
    for some it is not a surprise when I say: We are doing extremes to learn if the theorie does match the field. so we did and as we established, undersown / Intersown, a gras for seed production in a grain we applied the N for both crops in the grain. It worked. Other extreme was that we drilled rape at the 1st of September and applied at the same day 100% of the normal N rate for this rape. It never got any N. It worked and yielded a typical yield, 4.5 t/ha. We did this also with wheat the next year, planting at the 1st of September. Same result.
    Just recently we did do quite a number of wheat area before winter injecting the N. so did not wait for the so called "needed low N concentration" in the plant after winter. Did also work.
    Leaching: please understand, as we are using mostly Ammonium based solutions, which are + charged, there is, if done correctly, no way of leaching. Once they applied in a river bottom, gras land. Unfortunately there was a late spring flooding. Now there was a big concern that the N was lost and the water was polluted. they did some testing of the water. Where it was injected the N the Nitrate level where not increased, but not so where the fertiliser was broadcasted. After the water retracted the gras was growing normally where the N was injected, but where broadcast took place they had had to re spread the N..
    Please read the mentioned reference carefully and you will understand what is needed and where you can use it. It is a "fool proof" nutritional approach for high Ca soils. Now you will not be surprised that I have based marketing and decisions where to promote this CULTAN system in using our "Kinsey" soil sample results. And that was & still is a fool proof system.
    I'm doing the marketing & consultancy for over 6 units in my home area and we are still not able to supply the demand by the farmers.
    Anyone with a open spirit is welcome to come and see. One major field day this year is taking place at the 14th of June. And on the 15th we have our "3rd Soil Fertility" seminar.
    York-Th.

  29. #29
    FarmerDan
    Guest

    Re: Cultan/ Spoke Wheel Fert Injection?

    Quote Originally Posted by York View Post
    Mayo,
    1st: I rather "sterilise" 5% of the soil profile than have 100% of the profile influenced into the wrong direction.
    2nd: yes they can. But it is least desirable than nitrate.
    Fertiliser placement & saving:
    I have seen more farmers loosing faith in this system because they have been told to be able to achieve big sayings in N application than anything else. I'm never going to promote this system with such a claim. However it is possible but to achieve this there are so many variables out of my control. If you promote it with savings it is a "written aspect" and over here you can be sued if not archived. Our approach has always been that it is not costing the farmer more per unit of N in comparison than doing it on his own in broadcasting. Bear in mind, we have, at least had, accesss over here to rather low cost sources as we have a large chemical industry.
    Stability:
    for some it is not a surprise when I say: We are doing extremes to learn if the theorie does match the field. so we did and as we established, undersown / Intersown, a gras for seed production in a grain we applied the N for both crops in the grain. It worked. Other extreme was that we drilled rape at the 1st of September and applied at the same day 100% of the normal N rate for this rape. It never got any N. It worked and yielded a typical yield, 4.5 t/ha. We did this also with wheat the next year, planting at the 1st of September. Same result.
    Just recently we did do quite a number of wheat area before winter injecting the N. so did not wait for the so called "needed low N concentration" in the plant after winter. Did also work.
    Leaching: please understand, as we are using mostly Ammonium based solutions, which are + charged, there is, if done correctly, no way of leaching. Once they applied in a river bottom, gras land. Unfortunately there was a late spring flooding. Now there was a big concern that the N was lost and the water was polluted. they did some testing of the water. Where it was injected the N the Nitrate level where not increased, but not so where the fertiliser was broadcasted. After the water retracted the gras was growing normally where the N was injected, but where broadcast took place they had had to re spread the N..
    Please read the mentioned reference carefully and you will understand what is needed and where you can use it. It is a "fool proof" nutritional approach for high Ca soils. Now you will not be surprised that I have based marketing and decisions where to promote this CULTAN system in using our "Kinsey" soil sample results. And that was & still is a fool proof system.
    I'm doing the marketing & consultancy for over 6 units in my home area and we are still not able to supply the demand by the farmers.
    Anyone with a open spirit is welcome to come and see. One major field day this year is taking place at the 14th of June. And on the 15th we have our "3rd Soil Fertility" seminar.
    York-Th.
    Now you're talking.

    But, (dumb question with probably an obvious answer), why not put this fertiliser on with the drill, or would it be too slow? i.e. drills not designed to carry large quanitities of fert.

  30. #30
    Mayo
    Guest

    Re: Cultan/ Spoke Wheel Fert Injection?

    Thanks York.


    I'm getting this straight in my head now.

    Ammonium NH4+ is only toxic to higher plants in high concentrations. Being closely bound to clay/humus leaching would be far less likely than with Nitrates NO3-.

    Can accept that localised poisoning of the soil is probably preferable to sprinkling it across the whole field.

    In relation to DD/soil health, this system will surely work far more effectively, in a 'busier' soil (perhaps under DD for several years), with a great amount of soil life around, and so the effect and benefit of the plant is increased?

    However, I guess there is also an alternative mechanism, by which more bugs mean faster NH4 breakdown to NO3 and thus the plant has a belt and braces approach and can take up either as and when?

    I read elsewhere that sulphur, being a key ingredient in some amino acids will definitely affect nitrate use in plants.

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