Pre-plant nitrogen can help some soybeans

A team of soybean researchers says a little pre-plant nitrogen might help.

Mark Kendall with the University of Wisconsin tells Brownfield they’ve been looking at conventional and no-till soybeans following corn.  He says seedlings have more corn residue to grow through, and having some nitrogen for the new seeds helps in some cases. “We’re finding with some of the research, especially in our wider soybean planting, 30-inch rows for example, we’re finding a little bit of a benefit to plan a small amount of nitrogen pre-plant in the springtime, so 30 pounds or less.”

Kendall says there was a measurable yield difference in fields with wide soybean rows. “We’re finding about a four-and-a-half bushel increase on our soybeans planted in 30-inch rows compared to our no-till soybeans without the nitrogen. In our narrower row spacing, which is also pretty common amongst growers, 15’s, we weren’t finding a benefit to that nitrogen.”

Kendall says soybeans don’t start to fix their nitrogen from the atmosphere until the V2 stage.  He believes the reason for the difference between wide and narrow rows is the soybeans are closer together in wide rows, creating more competition for nutrients between plants.

More on this research can be found online here.

Audio: Mark Kendall discusses pre-plant nitrogen soybean research with Brownfield’s Larry Lee

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