Soybean School: Managing variable fertility for higher yields

Are we feeding our soybeans enough?

There are plenty of opinions but no definitive answers, says Veritas Farm Management manager Aaron Breimer. The challenge is determining which nutrients are limiting yield, something that can vary from field to field and even across individual fields.

On this episode of RealAgriculture’s Soybean School, Breimer dives into the data to illustrate how every field is unique and how the same nutrient management approach can yield vastly different results in neighbouring and individual fields.

Typically, fields are made up of a collection of zones, any of which could be deficient in phosphorus, potassium, manganese or boron — just to name some of the most common culprits. Breimer admits that layering field maps with yield and multiple nutrient data can become a complicated mess, but growers can take a simpler approach by identifying the top three limiting nutrient factors and generating maps to address these inputs across the fields.

Identifying nutrient variability starts with a fairly intensive soil testing regime, says Breimer noting the importance of testing individual parts of the field to distinguish between hills and valleys, for example.

First and foremost, growers have to understand that every field is unique and soybean performance will reflect the variability in which they’re planted, says Breimer.

Click here for more Soybean School episodes.

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