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Independent soybean trials prove that a full fertility program takes yield to the next level

May 1, 2023

1 Min Read
Soybean Fertility Demands
Submitted by NACHURS

With the recent trend of high cash soybean prices over the past several years, they should no longer be thought of as rotational “cover” crops to get to the next corn crop. When managed correctly with timely inputs such as plant nutrition, plant growth regulators (PGR), herbicides, and fungicides (which never used to be done) soybeans can be a real cash cow.

Soybeans are totally opposite from corn in many ways. Soybean genetics today can actually handle cold temperatures better than corn which is why many growers start planting them first. Their nutritional demand is backloaded with upwards of 70% of the nutrient uptake occurring in reproductive stages, unlike corn which is 50-60% done by tassel. One way that corn and soybeans are alike is that they both remove a lot of phosphorus and potassium. An 80 bu/ac soybean crop will remove twice as much potassium and almost an equal amount of phosphorus as a 200 bu/ac corn crop. In 2022 data from the Precision Planting (PTI) farm in Pontiac, IL, high management soybeans was the top ROI entry across all trials.

However, this may scare many growers away in that they might think it takes intensive management to get soybeans to yield at a high level. That is not the case.

Taking advantage of the ability to include fertility with basic tasks or functions such as herbicide and fungicide passes makes good agronomic and financial sense.2021-22 data from third party researchers across the Midwest shows the benefits of tank mixing fertility with chemistry.

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