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Facts and backgrounds
CULTAN (Controlled Uptake Long Term Ammonium Nutrition) is a rather rare form of under-foot fertilization for nitrogen of cultivated plants. It was developed by the Bonn agronomist Karl Sommer from the end of the 1960s onwards and is used in grassland, in arable farming for cereals, maize, potatoes and beets as well as in viticulture and tree nurseries.
In contrast to conventional fertilisation methods, nitrogen fertilisation of the plants with this method is carried out only once for a growing season with ammonium (NH4+) instead of nitrates (NO3-N). The fertiliser is not applied to the soil or worked in over a wide area, but is applied to the soil in points or strips .
Using a special injection technique, an attempt is made to place the fertiliser solution 7 - 20 cm deep in the soil, slightly offset to the side of the seed or planting rows. For row crops with larger row distances such as potatoes, beet or maize, this can be solved technically with some effort. However, the Cultan method is usually used for cereals and rape, which have row spacings of around 10 cm. There, no laterally offset application is possible; on the contrary, an - albeit small - proportion of plants is hit and destroyed by the injection technique.
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