The growing season of 2014 has the potential to yield a record harvest in many areas of the country. With good weather conditions, high soil fertility and a combination of high-yielding varieties, crops look strong and healthy. But there’s more being removed from the fields than just a crop harvest — record yields mean record nutrient removal from the soil.
New research from Dr. Fred Below, professor of crop science at the University of Illinois, is helping to determine if applying nutrients directly to the roots of crops through drip fertigation is a viable option for increasing yields.
As a result of new soybean varieties and new agronomic practices, yield potential is higher now than ever before. That makes the need to replenish the soil with the necessary nutrients even more important for long term success.
There are bushels out in your soybean acres just waiting for an artful hand to bring them forth. Agronomic strategies could boost the take by 10 bushels an acre, with half of those coming through proper nutrient application, according to research conducted by Dr. Fred Below and Dr. Ross Bender at the University of Illinois.
While corn prices have fostered adoption of many new high-yield management strategies in the past several years, some growers still look at soybeans as a rotational afterthought — especially where crop nutrition is concerned. But a surprising impetus — the drought of 2012 — may be changing opinions about the effect of aggressive nutrient management strategies.