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Soybeans

Soybeans

Soybeans are unique in that they produce most of their own nitrogen through rhizobium. This special skill is why they’re commonly grown to help improve soil health. Inoculants can provide an added rhizobium boost for optimal growth, while nutrient use efficiency products can help ensure soybeans are getting adequate levels of other key nutrients.


Application Guidelines Legend
  • Ask a Specialist

    Ask a Specialist

  • Broadcast

    Broadcast

  • Fertigation

    Fertigation

  • Foliar

    Foliar

  • In-Furrow

    In-Furrow

  • Inoculant

    Inoculant

  • Post-harvest

    Post-harvest

  • Seed Treatments & Inoculants

    Seed Treatments & Inoculants



  • Aqua-Pam™ is a soil surfactant and water retention aid that improves soil structure, water supply to roots and nutrient use efficiency.

    • Fertigation
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  • AVAIL® Phosphorus Fertilizer Enhancer reduces the fixation of applied phosphorus, keeping more available for plant uptake and improving fertilizer ROI.

    • Broadcast
    • In-Furrow
    • Post-harvest
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  • AVAIL® T5 Phosphorus Fertilizer Enhancer reduces the fixation of applied phosphorus, keeping more available for plant uptake and improving fertilizer ROI.

    • Broadcast
    • In-Furrow
    • Post-harvest
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  • CITRON® Water Herbicide Adjuvant boosts herbicide efficiency and can be used in conjunction with most contact herbicides.

    • Fertigation
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  • CROP+ is foliar nutritional supplement providing plant tolerance to abiotic stress, improving yield and quality of crops.

    • Foliar
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  • Moist Ferrous Sulfate Heptahydrate | Dried Ferrous Sulfate Heptahydrate | Dried Solu-Grade® Heptahydrate | Dried Ferrous Sulfate Standard Monohydrate | Dried Ferrous Sulfate Granular Monohydrate

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  • FlexConnect® is the first closed transfer system for soybean inoculants that rises to the advancements in application equipment.

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    • Seed Treatments & Inoculants
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  • Fungi-Phite® is a fast-acting phosphite fungicide proven to fight and prevent disease in more than 20 varieties of specialty crops.

    • Broadcast
    • Fertigation
    • Foliar
    • In-Furrow
    • Post-harvest
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  • Guard-N® is an inoculant that helps improve nitrogen uptake in over 60 common legume garden crops, including beans, peas, lima beans and soybeans.

    • Seed Treatments & Inoculants
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  • MicroSync® Granular Micronutrients are a unique blend of sulfates and sucrates that offer improved nutrient availability and performance.

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    • In-Furrow
    • Post-harvest
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  • N-Charge® is a premium peat inoculant specially formulated to increase seed adhesion for peas, lentils, dry edible beans, chickpeas and garbanzo beans.

    • Seed Treatments & Inoculants
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  • N-Dure™ is one of the most economical planter box inoculants on the market, improving nitrogen fixation in alfalfa, soybeans and other legumes.

    • Seed Treatments & Inoculants
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  • N-Take™ is a premium liquid inoculant for legumes that improves their nitrogen uptake, enhancing their root mass, growth and yield potential.

    • In-Furrow
    • Seed Treatments & Inoculants
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  • By slowing the oxidation of phosphorus, Nutri-Phite® enhances nutrient uptake to improve plant health and vigor, leading to increased yield potential.

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    • Fertigation
    • Foliar
    • Post-harvest
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  • PolyAmines are amino acid chelated micronutrients designed to prevent or correct trace element deficiencies at all stages of plant growth.

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    • Broadcast
    • Foliar
    • In-Furrow
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  • Preside Ultra® super concentrated soybean inoculant — powered by Take Off® nitrogen utilization technology — comes in larger treatment offerings for high-volume treatments.

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  • Primacy ALPHA® works inside the plant to stimulate the efficient assimilation and utilization of nutrients for a more consistent quality and yield in flowering and fruit size.

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    • Fertigation
    • Foliar
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  • Primo is a premium, concentrated liquid inoculant designed with pulse crops in mind.

    • Seed Treatments & Inoculants
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  • Primo GX2 is an in-furrow, multi-action granular inoculant that brings more nitrogen to the plant and performs well in harsh planting conditions.

    • Seed Treatments & Inoculants
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  • Primo R1 is a super concentrated soybean inoculant that helps provide soybean plants with the levels of nitrogen it needs.

    • Seed Treatments & Inoculants
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  • Safe Zone™ is a liquid soil treatment to reduce soluble salts in the root zone, improving germination, water percolation and nutrient uptake.

    • Fertigation
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  • SEED+ is a nutritional seed treatment supporting seedling vigor and emergence to better tolerate the effects of abiotic stress, crop quality and yield.

    • Seed Treatments & Inoculants
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  • Take Off® LS is a revolutionary nitrogen-management technology that accelerates nutrient acquisition and assimilation as well as nitrogen use efficiency.

    • Fertigation
    • Foliar
    • In-Furrow
    • Post-harvest
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  • Take Off ST® is a seed treatment that helps growers maximize yield potential by accelerating germination, emergence and nitrogen uptake.

    • Seed Treatments & Inoculants
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  • Tuxedo® is a micronutrient seed treatment for cereals and pulses. It’s compatible with most standard insecticide and fungicide seed treatments.

    • Seed Treatments & Inoculants
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Key Considerations for Soybean Crops

NUTRIENT MANAGEMENT

Soybeans are commonly used as a rotation crop to improve soil health, since they produce most of their own nitrogen through rhizobium. Inoculants can help generate nitrogen, the most required nutrient for sufficient crop growth and yield.

SOIL AND TEMPERATURE REQUIREMENTS

The ideal soil type for soybean growth is typically well-drained, loamy soils. Soybean roots are very sensitive to acids and they like the heat. They utilize moisture very efficiently and are tolerant to moderate drought stress.

PEST MANAGEMENT

Fortunately, soybeans are fairly tolerant to insect and pest damage, but insecticides can be applied if insect populations are particularly high. If your soybeans are experiencing disease pressure, applying fungicides along with an integrated pest management plan is key.

What Are the Stages of Soybean Growth?

Soybeans go through several stages of vegetative and reproductive growth from their planting to full maturity. Below is a table breaking down the different stages of soybean growth. Crop staging is important because it gives growers insight into a plant’s maturity, and whether or not it’s ready for harvest. It’s worth noting that each stage is defined only when 50% or more of the plants have reached the specific vegetative or reproductive stage.

Vegetative
Stages
VE Emergence – cotyledons have been pulled through the soil surface
VC Unrolled unifoliolate leaves – unfolding of the unifoliolate leaves
V1 First trifoliolate – one set of unfolded trifoliolate leaves
V2 Second trifoliolate – two sets of unfolded trifoliolate leaves
V4 Fourth trifoliolate – four unfolded trifoliolate leaves
V(n) nth trifoliolate – V stages continue with the unfolding of trifoliolate leaves. The final number of trifoliolate’s depends on the soybean variety and the environmental conditions
Reproductive
Stages
R1 Beginning flowering – plants have at least one flower on any node
R2 Full flowering – there is an open flower at one of the two uppermost nodes
R3 Beginning pod – pods are 3/16 inch (5 mm) at one of the four uppermost nodes
R4 Full pod – pods are 3/4 inch (2 cm) at one of the four uppermost nodes
R5 Beginning seed – seed is 1/8 inch long (3 mm) long in the pod at one of the four uppermost
nodes on the main stem
R6 Full seed – pod containing a green seed that fills the pod capacity at one of the four uppermost nodes on the main stem
R7 Beginning maturity – one normal pod on the main stem has reached it’s mature pod color
R8 Full maturity – 95% of the pods have reached their full mature color

(source: https://crops.extension.iastate.edu/soybean/production_growthstages.html)

Tips for Growing High Yield Soybeans

Here are some tips and best practices for how to grow soybeans with a higher yield. Each planting environment will be unique, so use your best judgment when making adjustments to the cultivation and growing process.

  • Planting Timing – Soybean crops thrive when planted earlier in the season, provided the soil and environmental conditions are favorable. If you want to be on the safe side, wait two to three weeks after the last frost to plant soybeans.
  • Proper Seed Treatment and Inoculant Application – Applying an inoculant helps with nitrogen fixation in soybeans. For the nitrogen-fixing bacteria Bradyrhizobium japonicum to show results, retailers and growers should turn to seed inoculation. Use a soybean inoculant applicator to help with this process.
  • No-Till Farming – This leads to increased organic matter in the soil, while reducing moisture losses along with fertilizer and nutrient runoff. Resultantly, no-till farming can increase soybean yields and economic returns.
  • Utilize Herbicides for Weed Control – Use herbicides as needed and in a timely fashion to limit weed growth. Rotate multiple herbicides and sites of action to prevent herbicide-resistant weeds. Layer residual herbicides during the growing season.
  • Ensure Soil Is Potassium and Phosphorus Rich – These are key nutrients for soybean crops. Potassium helps with starch production and photosynthesis, while phosphorus stimulates root development. Lack of these nutrients leads to stunted soybean growth, chlorosis, leaf discoloration and necrotic spots.
  • Plant Narrow Rows – Research suggests that planting soybeans in narrower rows increases yields and provides certain advantages for the crops. For example, reduced moisture loss, reduced soil erosion and better use of light (due to faster canopy closure).
  • Maintain the Appropriate Moisture Levels – Proper moisture levels are key for soybean seed germination and crop growth. Soybean seeds must take in 50% of their weight in water for germination to begin, and roughly 20% once the seed begins to swell. Avoid excess watering during the later reproductive stages. Note that improper irrigation leads to crop stress and irregular pod production.
  • Appropriate Seeding Rates – The seeding rate will depend on many factors, such as climate, moisture availability and disease pressures. When planting rows at 15-inch spacing, a common seeding rate is between 125,000 and 140,000 seeds per acre.

Are All Fertilizers Beneficial to Soybean Yields?

Not all fertilizers will provide the same benefits to soybean crops, especially since the appropriate fertilizer will vary depending on the nutrient balance of the soil and the stages of soybean growth. In general, soybean inoculants will be the preferred and more cost-effective way to get nitrogen, rather than N-fertilizer.

Soybean crops have a high requirement for nitrogen, requiring nearly five lbs of nitrogen per bushel produced. While an N-fertilizer may seem like the obvious choice, much of the nitrogen from an N-fertilizer often fails to be available to the soybeans in the soil. As such, a soybean seed inoculant is more effective at fixing nitrogen for the plant, as well as being more economical, especially if soybeans haven’t been planted in the field in the last three years or more. Using inoculants as a soybean seed treatment has shown to increase yields by up to 10 bushels per acre, with plants having bigger, darker green leaves. Certain premium inoculants available today also offer dual benefit to the plant by providing greater growing power with biostimulants included.

Key Nutrients Essential to Soybean Growth

Maintaining proper nutrient balance is an important part of growing healthy and happy soybean crops. Some of these essential nutrients include:

Key Nutrients

  • Nitrogen — For the most part, nitrogen is self-regulated in soybean crops. However, it should still be incorporated into your nutrient management plan.
  • Phosphorus — Proper phosphorus levels are essential for plant development and can help ensure N fixation.
  • Potassium — Soybeans require fairly high amounts of potassium, since it influences water efficiency, the number of seeds per plant and helps with disease prevention.
  • Micronutrients — While soybeans are usually good at absorbing the micronutrients they need from the soil, sulfur has a tendency to fall by the wayside. Consider sulfur applications to ensure your crops are getting all the nutrients they need.

It’s important to ensure the soil and soil solution have the proper amount of essential nutrients and micronutrients when growing soybeans. This helps guard against nutrient deficiencies and results in better yields of soybean crops. Micronutrients aren’t to be overlooked for their benefits to soybean growth, even if they’re needed in much smaller amounts. Key micronutrients when growing soybeans include:

  • Calcium
  • Magnesium
  • Iron
  • Boron
  • Manganese
  • Zinc
  • Copper
  • Molybdenum
  • Sulfur

Without the proper balance of micronutrients, soybeans can suffer from deficiencies resulting in stunted growth, chlorosis (when there’s a lack of potassium, or sulfur), necrosis (not enough calcium) and leaf discoloration.

How Useful Is Foliar Fertilizer for Soybean Growth?

Using foliar fertilizers when growing soybean crops can help alleviate some nutrient deficiencies. This is because foliar application avoids soil issues such as cold, drought, nutrient fixation and insufficient root growth, which each may limit absorption in soil-applied fertilizers. It’s generally recommended to apply foliar fertilizers to soybeans at lower rates and during cooler parts of the day, when burning of foliar tissues is less likely. Other benefits of foliar fertilizers for soybean growth include more efficient delivery of micronutrients, weather resistance, enhanced root development and increased crop growth rate.


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