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Soybean School West: The Rotational Approach to P Needs in Soybeans

By: RealAgriculture Agronomy Team

August 27, 2015

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USDA photo by Lance Cheung, 2015

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Knowing full-well that the crop can experience seed burn if placed too close to phosphorous (P), many soybean farmers will apply no or very low rates of phosphate with their soybeans. And, as we learned in the last Soybean School, that choice may not be hampering short term yields. But, agricultural soils are seeing losses in available P, suggesting room for improvement.

Related: Soybean School West: Why Phosphorus Management for Soybean is Unique

“If you just focus on a year-by-year sort of situation, or approach, you may find that your soil test P just keeps on going down, down, down, down,” says the University of Manitoba’s Don Flaten in this Soybean School. ” That could start limiting yield, especially of the other crops, that are more responsive to P, like canola or wheat.”

Going forward, Flaten suggests farmers consider side-banding, taking advantage of cereals’ capacity to tolerate seed-row-applied phosphorous and applying manure every four or five years.

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