Proper Nutrient Placement Depth

  • The top 6″ of soil depth is generally considered the aerobic zone-i.e. zone with oxygen.
  • Below 6″ of soil depth is called the anaerobic zone because of the lack of oxygen.
  • Plant nutrients are more available in the top 6″ of soil because of a much greater amount off oxygen present in the soil.
  • The oxygen in the aerobic zone also helps breakdown the nutrients in animal waste to become available to the plants.
  • Placing nutrients in the 4″-6″ depth rather than on the surface has several benefits.
    • Nutrients are not lost to erosion.
    • Nitrogen does not escape to the atmosphere.
    • Plants cannot take up nutrients in dry soil. As soon as the surface soil dries, the nutrients are not available.
    • Less weed pressure-High surface fertility promotes weed germination.


Each 1000 gallons of Grow-Finish Hog Manure contains approximately:

 Cost Per lb.  
*45 lbs. of nitrogen.35$15.75 
38 lbs. of phosphorus.23$ 8.74 
30 lbs. of potassium.20$ 6.00 
  $30.49Total value per 1000 gal

*Not all nitrogen is available the first growing season

Each 1000 gallons of Dairy Manure contains approximately:

 Cost Per lb.  
*35 lbs. of nitrogen.35$12.25 
15 lbs. of phosphorus.23$ 3.45 
26 lbs. of potassium.20$ 5.20 
  $20.90Total value per 1000 gal


Horsepower Requirements Relative to Depth

  • Soil types vary widely so it is difficult to predict the actual required horsepower per shank. However, in almost all soil conditions it is safe to use the following formula.
    When depth is increased 50%, the horsepower requirements will double.
  • For instance- If you are operating 5″ deep and the soil type requires 8 HP per shank; operating 7-1/2″ deep requires nearly 16 HP per shank.
  • If you operate 10″ deep, the horsepower will increase to approximately 24 HP per shank.
  • The above examples are based on the same travel speed.
  • With rising fertilizer fuel prices, it is very important to place nutrients 4″-6″ deep.

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