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 Made In Kansas
Get The Most Out Of Fertilizers


Article In Kansas Farmer July, 2013

Mark Ricker In The Field


LESS IS MORE: Before planting, Mark Ricker bands TAPPS, or Tri-Ammonium Polyphosphate Sulfate, on the go in a wheat field near Lyons. He is using Exactrix Mustang P-51C openers for low disturbance. While TAPPS cuts fertilizer costs, Ricker has seen a yield increase of 5% to 8% in wheat, corn rye and sunflowers. "It will pay for itself very quickly, just in the savings on inputs," he says. "In a good year, we'll have noticeably better yields."


MARK Ricker, of Lyons, has seen the benefits of dual-banding for more than 10 years. This includes less fuel consumption. However, after a bump in anhydrous prices five years ago,he was looking for a more efficient means of application to reduce the amount of fertilizer used. Ricker began using Exactrix P-51 low-disturbance disk openers, and dual-banding TAPPS, or Tri-Ammonium Polyphosphate Sulfate.

   "You can get by with quite a bit less total product," he notes. This means not only less nitrogen, but less phosphate, as well. "Nitrogen is cut probably close to 30%; phosphate, probably close to 15% to 20%."

isn't the only one adopting this method. Although Exactrix's popularity has mostly been a no-till phenomenon, it has found a place across the U.S. and parts of Canada, says Guy Swanson, president of the Spokane, Wash.-based company.

   Dual-banding has long been part of the Exactrix formula for improved yields, along with its anhydrous delivery systems, which keep anhydrous in a pure liquid state up to the injection point using high pressure, also known as streaming flow, compared to the more traditional reduced pressure systems.

   "Exactrix is utilized in all four corners of Kansas," Swanson notes. "Right now, we cover about 4 million acres with Exactrix." With Exactrix's streaming-flow delivery, openers vary from 1 % to 3% from the average application rate for all openers, also known as coefficient of variation. In traditional systems, this number is 20% or more.

    "Each band is under such high pressure, up to 350 psi, and each part gets delivered evenly," Swanson says. "If you get up on a slope and you are trying to reduce your pressure, you can.

Key Points
  • With rising fertilizer and fuel costs, farmers look to get the most from inputs.
  • Exactrix streaming flow cuts anhydrous use, makes more uniform application.
  • Combined with dual-banding, Exactrix reduces fertilizer and improves yield.

Streaming flow first emerged as an alternative to pressure-reducing flow application of ammonia by Tennessee Valley Authority scientists.

   "The scientific community began to understand that if it's a streaming flow as compared to a pressure-reducing flow, you don't need to use as much," Swanson says. "Over time our discoveries were that if we could somehow make ammonia flow as liquid, then we would be able to really take it to the next level."

   For Ricker, streaming flow has brought uniformity. "You don't see the unevenness. The crop is all one solid color, and you're doing it with less total product," he says. "The uniformity is, I think, the biggest part of the savings on it ... Every row is getting exactly what the one next to it is getting."

   This is thanks to the anhydrous staying in liquid form until the injection point. 'The TAPPS forms right out of the nozzle," he says. "That's a band that's in the ground that's all tied together."

Dual-banding benefits
systems are found on numerous machines built for dual-banding, which
saves fertilizer even more by creating TAPPS. Reacting ammonia and phosphate creates the polymer on the go. "That crystal that's in the band is great for crop nutrient uptake," Swanson says. "It really brings it on."

   The crystal is a polymer, which keeps calcium away from the phosphate. "The  

enemy of phosphate is calcium. You're trying to keep it in a polymer form," Swanson says. "That is achieved by simply raising the pressure and injecting those two materials so they collide and react. The producer's benefit is that the phosphates, all of the sudden, are more available - 200% more available."

   There's another piece to the TAPPS puzzle: Ammonium Thio Sulfate, or ATS. It's necessary for nitrogen stabilization, and without it, the formula isn't complete. But it also requires some changes. Since ATS is toxic to the seed, it must be banded deeper and between the rows.

   "[With TAPPS], you have achieved N stabilization, you have made P more available, and you have used less N," Swanson says. "You can raise a few more bushels, and you don't need to use as much of the expensive materials."

   Ricker has seen yields jump 5% to 8% in wheat, corn, rye and sunflowers. "It will pay for itself fairly quickly, just in the savings on inputs," he says. "In a good year, we'll have noticeably better yields."

   As Swanson says, timing is important. Ricker adds: "We've put some of it down ahead on wheat and sidedressed it on standing wheat. If we do that in February or early March, it seems we get more in the grain form versus the heavy straw load ... The timing of that seems to help us as making less straw and making more grain."

   By dual-banding with uniform application, less is more, Swanson says. Too much fertilizer can result in losing ammonia to the atmosphere. "You can apply a lot of P and be really non-economical," he notes. "Most of these nutrients are way over applied."

   By using less, farmers can raise their net gain $150 an acre, making dual-banding particularly appealing to younger farmers with fewer acres. "If you're a young...aggressive farmer who wants to grow the farm, this is absolutely critical in pulling it off". 

Weber Seed Side Dressing In Winter Wheat.

Crystalline Polymer TAPPS, Triple Super-Ammonization, Acid/Base reaction produces high crop availability.

Slots Cut Into Winter Wheat At Weber Seed.

Ricker Mustang Tool Bar, Award Winning No-till Design for deep banding Anhydrous Ammonia, APP, ATS, KTS, Micros.

Ricker TAPPKTS Mustang Banding into Alfalfa Sod, NPKS. Additional Boron can also be added in renovating dormant Alfalfa stands.

Ricker High Speed, No-tillage Banding at 6 inch depth in Winter Wheat Stubble.

Note: What about Potassium?

TAPPKTS can help...Band balance is improved when Potassium is added, based on tissue samples a small amount of K can be required during fast growth or during tassel.  


TAPPKTS is Tri-Ammonium Polyphosphate Potassium Thio-Sulfate. Triple Super-Ammonization of KTS is a similar Acid Base reaction allowing placed nutrients to be highly crop available during fast growth periods.


Liquid Steaming Flows formulating TAPPS,
     TAPPKTS...Hydra Hume formed up as Ammonium Fulvate in a High pH reaction
     with NH3

Click here To See Our Video



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