Nutrients need to be applied as accurately as possible to the zone of uptake, before or at the time that the crop needs them. Failure to ensure that each plant gets the right balance of nutrients can spoil crop quality and reduce yield.
Preplant fertilizers are either broadcast or banded. Generally, banded fertilizers give the best results.
When broadcasting fertilizer it is essential to ensure that it is evenly distributed. Small variations in distribution of plus or minus 10% will result in yield losses of up to 1.3t/ac. See figure.