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Agronomy Talk


Soil Testing and Fertilizer Application Programs

Published on Wednesday, July 13, 2016

As soybeans move into the reproductive phase, many ask if there are in-season nutrient applications that will enhance yield. Although soybeans will sometimes respond to foliar fertilizer applications, this is often because soil availability, root interception, and uptake of essential nutrients is limited. There isn’t a more cost-effective approach for supplying P, K, S, Zn, and adjusting soil pH to appropriate levels with lime other than building them to non-limiting levels in the soil to begin with. This is accomplished with an aggressive and accurate soil testing and fertilizer application program.

Once overall soil fertility goals are achieved, fine-tuning your crop nutrition program with plant tissue sampling, nutrient measurement, and foliar fertilizer product applications may provide additional yield. Long-term ROI with foliar fertilizer applications on soybeans is optimized when it doesn’t have to be used to compensate for inadequate soil fertility.

Beck’s 2015 Practical Farm Research (PFR)® 
in southern Illinois saw a 3.1 Bu./A. yield advantage to an application of 30 lb. UAN with 360 Y-Drop® at the R2 growth stage on claypan soils where saturated soils hindered normal nodule development. As always, feel free to contact your seed advisor or myself to assist with evaluating your soybean crop nutrition and health.

360 Y-Drop® is a registered trademark of 360 Yield Center, LLC. Practical Farm Research (PFR)® is a registered trademark of Beck's Superior Hybrids, Inc.

Author: David Hughes