Side dressing and seed band fertilising

Find out how you can supply your maize with the optimum amount of nutrients and what measures are suitable for which location.

Everything for side dressing with Terra Mais or liquid manure and fermentation substrates and for seed band fertilising with microgranulate.

Side dressing with Terra Mais

Terra Mais is a mixed fertiliser made from ENTEC and diammonium phosphate.


  • The right amount of nitrogen provided by the ENTEC component
  • Low amount of nitrate nitrogen for rapid development of the young plants
  • Total mineral N-fertilising can be combined in the side dressing
  • Higher yield reliability in extremes of weather compared with non-stabilised nitrogen fertilisers

For locations with high phosphate supply For locations with average phosphate supply
Terra Mais NP 23 + 16 Terra Mais NP 22 + 23
  • 23% N total nitrogen
    5% nitrate nitrogen
    18% ammonium-N
  • 23% N total nitrogen
    4% nitrate nitrogen
    18% ammonium-N
  • 16% P2O5 total phosphate
    15% P2O2 water-soluble
  • 23% P2O5 total phosphate
    21% P2O5 water-soluble
  • 8% S water-soluble sulphur
  • 6% S water-soluble sulphur

Adding ESTA kieserite to the proven Terra Mais mix immediately brings several advantages:

  • Mix supplemented with magnesium
  • Enhanced sulphur content
  • Achievement of the "struvite effect": DAP + kieserite -> ammonium magnesium phosphate
  • Ammonium, magnesium and phosphorous remain available to the crops!
  • The result is improved nitrogen efficiency and slowed ageing of phosphorous

Seed band fertilising with microgranulates

Seed band fertilising with microgranulate fertilisers is a modern method of targeted fertilisation. Fertilisation is performed with the aid of microgranulate spreaders during seeding – into the seed band directly to the seed grain. Unlike the traditional NP fertilisers (e.g. DAP), these granulates do not cause salt damage despite direct proximity to the seedling. This allows the nutrients to be tapped and absorbed by the radicle very quickly and efficiently in early phases of the crop's development.

Product Crop Application
P2O5 N S MgO Zn Other
Phytavis Microgran P Maize 20–25 50% 12% 2%   2%  
Microstar PZ Maize 25–30 40% 10% 4.4%   2%  
Magnistart NP Zn Maize 20–25 48% 11% 3.5%   2%  
Microstar PMX Potatoes, sugar beet 20–30 40% 10% 4.4% 3% 0.03% B, Fe, Mn, Cu, Mo
Main area of use

  • In soils with a weak nutrient supply – to improve the development of the young plants
  • In enriched soils – to reduce the P balance
  • Required initial dosage with phosphate available to the crops, despite soil enrichment
  • Agricultural limitation through oversupply with liquid manure/fermentation residues can be balanced out
  • More manure can be utilised through seed band fertilising on the surface
  • Well-placed zinc addition for optimum zinc supply Main area of use maize

Organic side dressing

Thanks to its long vegetation time, the maize is almost unsurpassed in its ability to utilise the nutrients from liquid manure and fermentation substrates. Against the backdrop of stricter statutory requirements for more effective use of nutrients and reducing sources of possible losses, in recent years the focus has been on a new method of liquid manure spreading that is used particularly with maize. This involves organic side dressing in conjunction with strip tillage using suitable spreading technology. This is done approximately one week before the maize is sown. The maize is then placed into the worked strips with the aid of GPS control.

Click to enlarge

The challenge is to select and maintain the correct placement depth for the liquid manure deposits. Here, a "safety distance" of approximately ten to eleven centimetres should be maintained between seed grain and liquid manure/fermentation residues (see diagram) otherwise the maize can suffer etching damage. On the other hand, the deposit must not be too deep otherwise the young maize cannot get the required nutrients at the right time. In each case, a nitrification inhibitor (ENTEC FL, PIADIN) should be added to the liquid manure or fermentation residues. This further improves the nutrient efficiency. The maize plant is enriched with ammonium through the inhibited conversion of ammonium to nitrate nitrogen. This also improves the intake of other important micro-nutrients.

Tip from the experts

Attention must be paid to the following with regard to the dosage of nitrification inhibitors:

  • The further away the application time is from the crops' main nitrogen intake, the greater the selected application rate of the nitrification inhibitors.
  • Ideally, when the spreader vessel is filled, dosing of the nitrification inhibitors should take place continuously in the liquid manure flow in order to achieve sufficient mixing.

Trial results

To date, many advantages of the system have been observed in numerous precision and demonstration trials. However, it is by no means possible to perform the process at every location, and it also comes with other problems. The list below provides an overview of the advantages and disadvantages:

Advantages Disadvantages
  • lower ammoniac and odour emissions
  • can only be used on free-flowing soils with a good texture
  • direct working in of the liquid manure or fermentation residues
  • soils must be dry when worked (avoid “grease layers"/plough compacting in soils)
  • no prior soil working measures required, the soil texture is largely maintained
  • it should be possible for soils to warm up well in spring
  • good erosion protection through mulch and plant residues between the worked strips
  • reduced area output compared with traditional application via spreader
  • more effective nutrient utilisation from the liquid manure or the fermentation residues when N stabilisers are added
  • more mechanisation (steering system, spreading technology) is required
  • improved root growth -> advantages under difficult conditions (see diagram)
  • Old weeds must definitely be combated chemically