Fertilizer placement in soybeans

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Published November 14, 2011 | By admin


University of Ilinois 3-year study sees strip-till benefits


Courtesy Certified Crop Advisor


Compared to no-till, strip-till can offer improved seedbed conditions and deep banding of fertilizer. A group of researchers at the Dept. of Crop Sciences, Univ. of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, set out to quantify the effect of rate and placement of P and K in no-till and strip-till systems on soybean seed yield.


A 3-yr field experiment was conducted near Urbana, IL, on Flanagan silt loam (fine, smectitic, mesic Aquic Argiudolls) and Drummer silty clay loam (fine-silty, mixed, superactive, mesic Typic Endoaquolls) soils, with soybean planted following corn. Tillage/fertilizer placement was the main plot with no-till/broadcast (NTBC); no-till/deep band (NTDB); and strip-till/deep band (STDB); deep band placement was 6 inches beneath the planted row.


Phosphorus–fertilizer rate (0, 10.7, 21.4, and 32.1 lb P/acre per year) was the subplot, and potassium-fertilizer rate (0, 37.5, 75, and 150 lb K/acre per year) was the sub-subplot. Soil water, soil and trifoliate P and K, and seed yield were measured.


Strip-till/deep band produced a seed yield 10% greater than no-till/broadcast and 7% greater than no-till/deep band. At the same time, no-till/deep band produced a small but significant 4% greater yield than no-till/broadcast.


The researchers found that seed yield, number of pods per plant, and trifoliate P concentration and accumulation increased with P fertilization uniformly across tillage/fertilizer placement indicating that fertilization cannot be reduced with deep band applications relative to broadcast applications without a reduction in seed yield, but deep banding increased subsurface soil test levels.


Potassium fertilization decreased seed yield in both no-till systems but not in the strip-till/deep-band system. While P and K placement produced no differences, improved soybean yield and nutrient accumulation resulted from a tillage effect with strip-till/deep-band relative to the no-till systems.


Summary from:


No-Till and Strip-Till Soybean Production with Surface and Subsurface Phosphorus and Potassium Fertilization
Bhupinder S. Farmaha, Fabian G. Fernandez, and Emerson D. Nafziger


Published in Agron. J. 103:1862-1869 (2011)


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