August 26, 2016
3 Ideas to Improve Your Soybean Fertilizer Plan and Get a Few More Bushels
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One day of the 2016 Farm Journal Corn College events in Albert Lea, Minnesota, was committed to soybeans. I heard from farmers, retailers and agronomists that they are taking another look at fertilizing their soybeans for high yields. Before making adjustments to your fertilizer for soybeans, however, it is crucial to estimate the ROI of new practices during the current commodity price environment.
Here are three fertilizer strategies – backed by trial data – to help soybean farmers get the most from their fertilizer dollar and get a few more bushels of their crops’ yield potential.
(To read the corn fertilizer strategies we explored at the 2016 Corn College, go to this page.)
1 – Add a Starter Fertilizer for Soybeans to Your Dry Blend.
The University of Iowa acknowledges that increasing biomass between emergence and the first flower is one key to increasing yields in soybean.
Featuring the CropStartTM Nutrient Package, Nu-TraxTM P+ fertilizer delivers phosphorus and zinc to boost early season growth and increase biomass.
And Nu-Trax P+ is easy to apply. It coats onto your dry pre-plant fertilizer blend – providing you the benefits of a starter, without the equipment traditionally needed for a starter.
In replicated field trials, soybean plants were larger and more vigorous with more developed roots systems when they had early season access to Nu-Trax P+. The better early season growth resulted in a 4% increase in yield at harvest.
2 – Apply Manganese Early.
Soybeans require manganese to improve crop establishment and increase grain quality. Manganese is a common deficiency in soils throughout the Midwest and mid-Atlantic states where fields have high soil pH, coarse soils, high calcium levels and/or high iron levels.
Whenever you see visual deficiency symptoms, yield has already suffered. If your soil tests show moderate to low manganese levels, a proactive soil application of Wolf Trax Manganese DDP® at planting is the best approach to ensure adequate nutrition when your soybean crop needs it.
In a replicated field trial conducted in 2007 by Purdue University, the addition of Manganese DDP to starter fertilizer increased yields by 10%. Adding an in-season foliar application of Manganese DDP to this at-plant treatment increased yield another 7%. You can read more details about the Indiana trial in this Field Insights pdf.
3 – Boost Next Year’s Corn Crop by Applying Zinc This Fall
Make the most of your time in the field this fall by adding Wolf Trax Zinc DDP to your P and K applications. Soil applications are the most effective way to get the benefit of improved root growth out of your zinc fertilizer, and Zinc DDP with EvenCoat™ Technology delivers zinc where and when you corn crop needs it. Applying Zinc DDP now in the fall is a great way to get next year’s corn crop off to a strong start.
What fertilizer strategies have helped you grow high-yielding soybeans? Share, tweet us your questions at @WolfTraxInc or comment on this blog.
Author: Paul Reising, senior product manager of micronutrients for Compass Minerals