What is Liquid Starter Fertilizer?
Liquid starter is a blend of fertilizer nutrients applied with the planter at planting time. Starter is injected in a concentrated band 2 inches below and 2 inches to the side of the seed, or by using a starter with a low-salt index, it can be placed in-furrow. Dribbling liquid starter in the furrow requires the least amount of expense for application equipment. Premixed liquid starters provide a balanced formulation of N-P-K plus sulfur and zinc. Or, a starter can be custom-blended to meet soil test recommendations. The advantage of injecting liquid starter in a concentrated band is that nutrients are not attached to as many soil particles compared with broadcast applications. Thus, roots can grow into the band and more readily absorb nutrients. The use of liquid starter is increasing because of the dramatic increase in the number of reduced-tillage acres. Growers are discovering that the most efficient way to fertilize reduced-tillage corn is by placing liquid starter under residue a