Do soybeans need phosphorus?

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May 29, 2016, 6:56:07 PM5/29/16
to Sustainable Phosphorus Platform

Phosphorus fertilizer won’t increase soybean yield, but good strategies can maintain fertility.

Soybeans are efficient feeders for soil phosphorus (P) and in most cases growers are not going to see an increase in yield from additional P fertilization, regardless of the soil test P, according to research trials in Manitoba and Saskatchewan.

Since 2013, Dr. Don Flaten and Gustavo Bardella of the University of Manitoba, together with John Heard of Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Development, have been assessing the short-term and long-term effects of P fertility rate and placement on soybean stands, dry matter production and seed yield.

Flaten presented some findings from their trials at Ag Days in Brandon this January. The key message is that even in soils with very low soil test P levels (down to three ppm Olsen P) soybeans can uptake enough P from the soil during the growing season to produce high yield without any additional P fertilization.

The University of Manitoba has been conducting trials on soybean’s phosphorus uptake.

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