Are you expecting more out of your soybeans? Lance Tarochione, a technical agronomist with Asgrow, says maybe your soybeans are expecting more from you.
“Fertility management could be holding back your soybeans,” he notes at http://IlSoyAdvisor.com.
Tarochione says soybean farmers should ask the following 10 questions about their crop’s fertility. If they can’t answer yes to all of them, they might be limiting yield potential.
- Do you soil test at least every four years?
- Is your base saturation for potassium 3% or greater?
- Are you tissue sampling for micronutrient deficiencies and “hidden hunger”?
- Are you maintaining a soil pH in the mid 6s?
- Do you apply P and K every year, or just once every two years before corn?
- Do you apply sulfur?
- Do you apply enough fertilizer to replace what record yields are removing today?
- Do you ever apply micronutrients such as boron, zinc or manganese?
- Have you ever applied any foliar nutrition products?
- Do you have a specific fertility management program in place, or do you expect soybeans to get by on what last year’s crop didn’t use?
A 75 bu. soybean crop removes about 227 lbs. of nitrogen, 150 lbs. of potash, 98 lbs. of phosphate, 15 lbs. of sulfur, 2.6 lbs. of zinc and 2 lbs. of boron, Tarochione says.
“Soybeans can scavenge for nutrients, but you consider the fact they might yield more if adequate amounts of essential nutrients are readily available,” he says. Tarochione shares additional soybean management advice on the Illinois Soybean Association blog.
What’s your best soybean fertility advice? Continue the conversation on the AgWeb discussion boards.