Research partnership hones in on soybean best management practices

A collaborative research project is highlighting where farmers can cut input costs without sacrificing crop quality.

Illinois native Rachel Vann is a soybean extension specialist with North Carolina State University and the lead project investigator for the Science for Success partnership through the United Soybean Board. She tells Brownfield research conducted in 2019 and 2020 on 46 sites across the US focused on the value of foliar fertilizers applied at R3 or beginning pod.

“When we were applying these products prophylactically at R3 or beginning pod when there was no other visible nutrient deficiency issues, we saw no impact of several of those products on soybean yield.”

She says the data shows many farmers could save by omitting that application.

“Input costs are high right now and so we need to be making precision and data driven decisions about which inputs matter. Knowing this information could save farmers anywhere from $4 to $22 per acre depending on the product.”

She says for the 2023 season they are planning to conduct research on the value of biological seed treatments and revisit what the nitrogen credit from soybeans is to following crops.

Brownfield interviewed Vann at the Illinois Soybean Summit in Champaign on Thursday.

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