AgWatch


Evaluate Soybean Varieties To Increase Yield

BETTY VALLE GEGG-NAEGER
MidAmerica Farmer Grower

DIXON SPRINGS, ILL.
   Adding supplemental nitrogen fertilizer to soybeans was a topic presented by Jake Vossenkemper, graduate research assistant at the University of Illinois in the Department of Crop Sciences, recently.
   “In 2008 a paper was published by some authors at the University of Nebraska speculating that at higher yield levels soybean may need supplemental nitrogen fertilizer,” he said. “This paper was a review of nitrogen uptake, fixation, and yield when supplemental nitrogen fertilizer was added to soybeans.”
















 



 Jake Vossenkemper, graduate research assistant at the University of Illinois in the Department of Crop Sciences,
 discusses the addition of nitrogen fertilizer to soybean and if it translates to an increase on-farm profitability.  

 Photo by John LaRose, Jr.



















   This review paper summarized 108 experiments dating all the way back to 1966, and the general conclusion was that there is a trend for more frequent yield increases at higher yield levels when supplemental nitrogen fertilizer was added to soybeans.
   “However, at the University of Illinois we’ve been taking a look at this, and we have not found any relationship between nitrogen fertilizer additions to soybean and yield level,” Vossenkemper said.
   “Therefore, we cannot conclude that adding nitrogen fertilizer to soybeans is a practice that will increase on-farm profitability, even at high yield levels. Instead, I think growers should focus more on varietal selection, partner up with a seed dealer that they trust, and evaluate some different varieties in good fair side-by-sides,” he added.
   While simplistic, this might be a more useful approach to increasing your soybean yield at this time.
   “The nitrogen fertilizer study is interesting and we’ll continue to investigate it, but the bottom line today is we just can’t recommend that practice.” ∆
   BETTY VALLE GEGG-NAEGER: Senior Staff Writer, MidAmerica Farmer Grower
MidAmerica Farm Publications, Inc
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