Soil test values for Phosphorus (P) and Potassium (K) have been on the decline in Ontario as fertilizer prices increase and rotation times between crops like corn and soybeans, which have high nutrient requirements, are shrinking. In some cases, the decline in soil test values is leading to yield limitations.
In order to provide soybeans with adequate nutrients, while considering the real world constraints of fertilizer cost, equipment capabilities, and ease of application, new approaches to fertilizer use must be assessed.
The typical way to apply fertilizer to a soybean crop has been to broadcast and incorporate it. This requires extra passes across the field. Many of the air seeders being used today have the ability to apply fertilizer in the seed trench at seeding time. This could potentially save time for farmers. However, current recommendations dictate: “do not apply fertilizer in contact with soybean seeds, due to their sensitivity to fertilizer salts.”