What Can You Do To Get Soybeans To Pay In 2019?

Jan 04, 2019
Megan Hasenour | Marketing Communications Manager


Many growers are asking this question and with commodity prices below what we’ve experienced recently, that is expected. Todd Meyer, Superior Ag Agronomy Sales Manager answers it this way:  “The key to profitability in times of low or high prices is to produce as many profitable bushels as you can.  Cutting inputs in order to save money can often reduce a farmer’s harvestable bushels and net profits.”

Producers have adjusted row width and populations to maximize yields as well as moved to earlier planting. These changes have been positive but without the supporting fertility, their impact will not be realized.

Soybeans require 5# of nitrogen to produce a single bushel so a 60 bushel crop needs at least 300# of nitrogen.  The workhorse for that requirement is Bradyrhizobium japonicum, the bacteria that partner with soybeans to fix nitrogen.  According to Michigan State University, soybeans obtain up to 70% of their total nitrogen requirement from this biological fixation of nitrogen.(1)  “Producers across the US have hit a yield barrier on soybeans and we believe that the availability of nitrogen is an easy and inexpensive limiting factor to solve,” reports Meyer.  “The variability of soil pH, drainage issues and cultural practices leads to areas in most fields where previous inoculations are no longer present in sufficient numbers to meet the needs of the crop.  To achieve the highest yield that the season will provide, we need to bring up those spots with new, fresh inoculant.”

Significant advances to inoculants have improved performance and consistency.  “We are very excited about the results we’ve seen with emerging technologies,” states Meyer.  “The inclusion of Take Off® technology developed at the Los Alamos National Laboratory that improves nitrogen and, thus, all nutrient use within the plant has shown significant advantages.”  In four years of testing across the mid-west, Take Off® ST (seed treatment) has shown an average positive response of 2 bushes almost 80% of the time.  The Take Off® technology in a new soybean inoculant, Preside® CL, moves that return up to almost 3.5 bushels.  That is a payback of over $6 for each $1 invested.

“The practice of inoculation in soybeans has grown significantly in the last 10 years.  This is because it has proven to be profitable,” adds Meyer.  “Producers don’t try practices and then expand their use without them proving to make them money and new technologies are increasing the consistency and magnitude of those returns.”

Producing a profitable crop in low commodity price years is dependent on wisely spent investments.  Assuring that the crop has adequate nutrition to reach the genetic potential that a particular year provides is crucial.  Utilizing tools like Take Off® ST or Take Off® technology in Preside® CL in combination with proven seed protectants should be high on a producer’s list for a profitable soybean crop in 2019.

Guest Content Provided by: Jim Pullins, Verdesian Life Sciences LLC