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Monday, August 20, 2012

Do Full Season Soybeans Respond to Nitrogen Fertilizer?

From time to time we hear that someone is say nitrogen fertilizer on soybeans is a good idea.  Researchers check this out and most of the time find little if any response.  Maryland researchers recently published their findings.  It is the first article in the publication.  They found no response.

University of Missouri  published results showing minimal response by soybeans to nitrogen fertilizer.  USDA's ARS said that Nitrogen Fertilizer applied to soybeans in Alabama is a dubious practice.  This paper out of the University of Wisconsin in 2009 explains N use in soybeans very well.  They also conclude that nitrogen fertilizer is not needed in soybeans.  Wisconsin said that where they did a get a bit of a response to nitrogen fertilizer, some other factor was in play as well.

In conclusion, I would add that it looks like if you are worried about nitrogen needs for your soybeans, inoculation may be the way to go.  There is lots of research suggesting that inoculation may not be necessary in fields where soybeans have been grown recently, but it is an inexpensive alternative to nitrogen fertilization in soybeans. 

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