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PFR Report

Starting Strong with Starter Fertilizers

Published on Monday, May 14, 2018

Starter fertilizers typically include various macro and micronutrients needed to optimize crops that are placed near the seedling during planting. The main goal is to apply a concentrated amount of nutrients in an area where young plants can easily reach them to promote development, especially in the face of early-season stress.

When determining if a starter fertilizer is right for your operation, there are a few considerations that come into play. These include fertilizer placement, what key nutrients you are wanting to provide your crop and the cost of the various products. Over the last 50+ years, Beck’s Practical Farm Research (PFR)® program has tested thousands of products. However, during this time, only three starter products have been identified as PFR Proven™ for providing consistent yield gains and increases in return on investment (ROI) for three or more years.

The starter product P-Max® LFS was identified as PFR Proven in 2016, followed by NACHURS® imPulse® 10-18-4 and PureGrade® Diamond 6-24-6 in 2017. P-Max LFS was tested over a five-year period and was found to have an average yield increase of 4.6 Bu./A. and an average ROI of $18.46/A. In 2017, Beck’s published their three-year, multi-location data showing that NACHURS imPulse 10-18-4 delivered a 9.5 Bu./A. yield increase and PureGrade Diamond 6-24-6 increased yield by 8.2 Bu./A. When it comes to ROI, NACHURS imPulse showed an average increase of $17.67/A. while PureGrade Diamond provided a $12.78/A. increase over three years.

Each of these fertilizers has shown to have positive results in the Beck’s PFR program, however, agronomists recommend basing your starter fertilizer selection off of the nutrients provided by these products. If you are strictly looking for a phosphate product, P-Max LFS may be the route to go. If you are looking for nitrogen, phosphate and potassium, NACHURS imPulse or PureGrade Diamond may be a better fit.

As you plan your season-long nutritional program, it’s important to keep in mind that there is not a “one starter fits all” approach. For more information or to see regional results of these study, click the links below.

Contact your local Beck’s representative to help determine if using a starter fertilizer in soybeans is a good option for your operation. As always, please refer to product labels for rate recommendations and restrictions for your cropping system.



Beck’s PFR is the largest source of unbiased, cutting-edge agronomic information in the industry. More than 500 studies were conducted in 2017, comparing over 150 products across multiple locations to learn how different management practices and new technologies perform in field environments. In evaluating agronomic practices and input products, not comparing seed products, Beck’s PFR aims to help farmers maximize their input dollars and increase their bottom line. To view more PFR studies click here.

Practical Farm Research (PFR)® and PFR Proven™ are trademarks of Beck’s Superior Hybrids, Inc. PFR Proven™ was developed in 2016 to identify the products and practices that are likely to be most profitable. If a product has been tested in PFR and found to provide yield gains and averages a positive ROI over a minimum of three years, then that product will earn the status of PFR Proven and should be something to consider trying on your farm. If a practices has been tested in PFR and found to be the most profitable, then it will also receive the status of PFR Proven. Please consult with your local Beck’s representative or trusted advisor for best management practices in your area.

P-Max® is a registered trademark of Midtech R&D, Inc. NACHURS® and impulse® are registered trademarks of NACHUS ALPINE SOLUTIONS. PureGrade® is a registered trademark of The Andersons, Inc.

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Alex Knight

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