Significant Nutrient Deficiencies in Soybeans at Key Growth Stages
Every year, Helena collects large amounts of Extractor® tissue samples from soybean acres across the nation. While potassium and sulfur remain the top two nutrient deficiencies across all growth stages, sulfur stands out as the most deficient nutrient in early season and R1 soybeans.
Sulfur is typically acquired through ammonium sulfate or ammonium thiosulfate in UAN applications. Since nitrogen applications are less common in soybeans, sulfur is therefore often overlooked. Given the increasing global demand and evolving market dynamics, Derek Emerine, National Agronomist for Helena Agri-Enterprises, encourages farmers to take advantage of the opportunity by reconsidering the role of sulfur in soybean programs.
“Our data continues to show that some sort of sulfur fertilizer probably makes sense for a soybean program,” says Emerine.
Sulfur plays a critical role in the formation of chlorophyll, protein production and enzyme activation, among other important activities. Continuing into R2 and R3 around fungicide timing, it ranks as the third most deficient nutrient behind potassium and nitrogen. According to Emerine, this is the “prime time” to see where you stand with your crop.
“Prior to that fungicide, pull an Extractor sample,” says Emerine. “That is a really good time to look and see what is limited.”
Other nutrients such as boron and manganese also show up in deficiency rankings at different stages throughout the season. Emerine says there are a variety of different ways to address all of these deficiencies, but the first step is to reach out to your Helena representative about setting up an Extractor tissue sampling program. With your own report in hand, you can find the right products and practices for your operation. Hear more insights on soybean nutrition from Derek Emerine by tuning in to Episode 32 of the FieldLink® Podcast, available on YouTube or wherever you listen.