Fertilizer Safety

Nitrogen fertilizer, whether liquid, granular or anhydrous ammonia, should not be placed in the seed row. Nitrogen can be highly toxic to germinating seed, so it needs to be placed at a safe distance, but still close enough so that it is available when the plant needs it.

Safe Levels of Seed Placed Fertilizer for Canola and Cereal Crops

(SK Ministry of Agriculture)

Sulfur fertilizers often contain a high proportion of nitrogen and should also not be placed with the seed. Phosphate and potassium have been shown to be seed safe in small amounts. When higher concentrations are required, they should not be seed-placed.


Placing Enough Nutrients at Seeding

Seed and fertilizer should be kept separate, because even very low levels of seed-placed fertilizer can be harmful to crops like oilseeds and pulses. Placing the seed on firm, moist and undisturbed soil also helps keep it safe from fertilizer damage.

See Optimum Fertilizer Placement

Environmental factors, such as moisture and soil structure, should be taken into account when determining fertilization levels. It makes no sense to over fertilizer poor-producing areas, or areas where spring moisture is very limited.

When a field’s yield potential is limited, fertilizer rates should be scaled back. To do this, choose seeding tools/systems that are capable of accurately applying both high and low rates of nutrients.


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