Mid Row Band
The Ideal Location for Nitrogen Fertilizer in a One-Pass Seeding Operation
The Bourgault Seeding System with Mid Row Banders® is superior to other one-pass seeding systems in how it positions the nitrogen fertilizer to the seed:
  • Nitrogen fertilizer placed too close to the seed row may put the seeds at risk from Salt Effect and/or Fertilizer Toxicity.
  • The seedling does not need access to the banded nitrogen in the earliest stages of development. Adequate nitrogen for the germinating seed is contained in the seed, in the soil, or provided by the seed-placed phosphate fertilizer.
  • Once the plant detects the source of nitrate, the root system will be encouraged to extend out to that source, promoting a strong root base. Research has shown that nitrate will reach the seed row from the mid row band in as little as 2 days.
  • Separate seed and fertilizer openers allow producers the versatility to choose the seed opener that works best for their operation.
  • The low disturbance profile of the Bourgault system promotes a high quality seedbed. Soil disturbance is minimized.
With mid row banding, the dangers of fertilizer toxicity or salt effect are minimized, yet the plant has access to the nitrate from the fertilizer row when needed.
Side-Banding System
Mid Row Banding System



Side-band - 1 Day After Seeding
  • Some seeds are on the soil shelf created by the opener. Some seeds have mixed with the fertilizer in the lower levels of the fertilizer furrow.
  • As soon as the seed is in the soil, it begins absorbing moisture and whatever nutrients are nearby. Absorbing ammonia (NH3) can severely injure the seed. Absorbing ammonium (NH4) can lead to development impairment and reduced plant vigor.
  • Within 24 hours, the band of ammonia and ammonium will typically grow to 3” in diameter in normal conditions, and larger in dry, highly fractured or sandy soil



Mid Row Band - 1 Day After Seeding
  • Within 24 hours of being injected into the soil, nitrogen will radiate to a 3” diameter as ammonia (NH3) or ammonium (NH4).
  • At this time, the nitrogen band is toxic to the seed. The ammonia form (NH3) is directly toxic to the seed, and the ammonium form (NH4) can be toxic to the seed at high concentrations.
  • A small amount of nitrate (NO3) has formed, and begins moving away from the core of the concentrated band at a faster rate than NH3 or NH4 due to its mobile nature.
  • The seed is out of harms way while the nitrogen is in the ammonia (NH3) and ammonium (NH4) forms.

Side-band - 1 Week After Seeding
  • After one week, generally 30 to 40% of the nitrogen has been converted to nitrate (NO3).
  • Many of the seeds are still being subjected to ammonium (NH4) which can be toxic to the plant in higher concentrations. The seed and seedlings are also being subjected to high levels of salt caused by the tight band.
  • Seeds placed too close to the nitrogen concentration have been killed. Seeds farther from the concentration may suffer mild to severe damage.

Mid Row Band - 1 Week After Seeding
  • After 1 week, the nitrogen will have diffused outwardly to produce a band about 3½” wide. The nitrogen concentration is still high in this band.
  • Some of the nitrogen as nitrate (NO3) will have already reached the developing seedling as nitrates move through the soil quickly. Research has shown that nitrate (NO3) from the mid row band can reach the plants in as little as two days.
  • The seed will have sprouted, with roots beginning to project downwardly and outwardly. The emerging seedling is feeding off the nitrogen found in the seed, soil and phosphate fertilizer (12-51-0). The roots will intercept some of the nitrate fertilizer which has reached the seed row from the mid row band

Side-band - 2 Weeks After Seeding
  • More than 50% of the nitrogen has now converted from NH3 & NH4 to nitrate (NO3).
  • The nitrogen band is now 4” to 5” wide band, significantly reducing the concentration of the nitrogen.
  • Some of the seedlings have perished due to the salt effect of the concentrated nitrogen, resulting in reduced seedling populations
  • Nitrogen toxicity and salt effect have delayed plant development and amplified the regularly occurring stresses (drought, cold soils, herbicide residue, etc.) to which the seedlings are routinely subjected.

Mid Row Banding - 2  Weeks After Seeding
  • After 2 weeks, the nitrogen has diffused outwardly to produce a band of 4” to 5” with approximately 50% to 60% of the nitrogen now being in the usable nitrate (NO3) form.
  • Research has shown that by the time the plant is in the 1 to 2 leaf stage, roots often extend outwardly 4 to 6 inches. The gradual exposure to nitrate is encouraging the rapid development of an extensive root system.
  • The band is now less concentrated and less inclined to damage the seedling.
  • The radially developing root system is accessing the nitrate, which is moving away from the core of the nitrogen band.

Side-Band - 4 Weeks After Seeding
  • After 4 weeks, most of the nitrogen has now been converted into nitrate (NO3).
  • The nitrogen has now diffused to a 6” to 8” wide band. The nitrogen is now far less concentrated and the salt effect stress on the plant has eased considerably.
  • Plant density has been reduced due to fertilizer toxicity and/or salt effect. The plants that have survived are generally beginning to recover.

Mid Row Band - 4 Weeks After Seeding
  • After four weeks, the nitrogen has diffused outwardly to produce a band width of 6 to 8” with approximately 90% of the nitrogen now being in the more usable nitrate (NO3) form.
  • The plant roots have grown into the nitrate band and increased in thickness to reflect the availability of nitrate in that area.
  • Typically at the four week interval, plants have consumed 20% of the nitrogen that they will require in their growth cycle. Root development is extensive.