Does Your Soybean Crop Have Enough Zinc?
With the season about to kick off, you’ve probably already thought about your fertilizer programs for the crops you’re putting in the ground. If you’re planting soybeans, you might want to look again.
Most put some type of phosphorus starter fertilizer out with their seed. Studies have also shown that soybeans need an additional source of nitrogen because they cannot fix enough nitrogen to match the amount they need to finish their life cycle. The one nutrient we always remember to put into corn starters that we leave out of soybean starters is zinc.
Zinc deficiencies have shown up in many different areas, but we tend to see them more on sandy soils, soils high in pH and phosphorus and soils low in organic matter. Too little zinc results in stunted, yellow-to-light plants, which drop lower leaves prematurely. Flowering is reduced, and any pods that set are abnormal and mature slowly (Lane 1998). Cool soil temperatures early in the year can also intensify the need for zinc. When soil temperature is low, mineralization of soil organic matter slows down, resulting in less zinc being released in the soil solution available for plant uptake (Sutradhard 2016).
Nutri-Link HP starter fertilizer is a 70/30 ortho/poly blend in a 7-23-1 .46 Zn formulation. It provides immediately available orthophosphate in combination with polyphosphate that will later become available for plant uptake. With EDTA-chelated zinc, it will fit on most any acre without having to pour additional jugs into your mix.
The picture above shows a trial done in Jamestown, North Dakota, comparing a Nutri-Link application to untreated plants. The Nutri-Link plants had 49 pods versus 28 pods with the untreated plants. The untreated plants also had only 3 bean pods and many 2 bean pods. The Nutri-Link plants had a fair amount of 4 bean pods and only a few 2 bean pods, leading to much higher yields at harvest. Contact your Helena representative to supply the zinc your soybeans need this season.
- Joe Janecke, Product Manager