Knowing full-well that the crop can experience seed burn if placed too close to phosphorous (P), many soybean farmers will apply no or very low rates of phosphate with their soybeans. And, as we learned in the last Soybean School West, that choice may not be hampering short term yields. But, agricultural soils are seeing losses in available P, suggesting room for improvement.
“If you just focus on a year-by-year sort of situation, or approach, you may find that your soil test P just keeps on going down, down, down, down,” says the University of Manitoba’s Don Flaten in this Soybean School episode. “That could start limiting yield, especially of the other crops, that are more responsive to P, like canola or wheat.”
Going forward, Flaten suggests farmers consider side-banding, taking advantage of cereals’ capacity to tolerate seed-row-applied phosphorous and applying manure every four or five years.