Soybean Starter Trial Starter fertilizers have been debated for years. Starter fertilizers have been proven to be beneficial to corn and soybeans around the globe. The problem is that growers tend to look at starter fertilizer as an expense and generally only give it a one year trial. In our experience, starter fertilizers will pay for themselves seven to eight times out of ten. The reason that starter fertilizers do not always pay for themselves is that the weather largely dictates if starter fertilizer is needed or not. Generally starter fertilizer provides the plant early nutrition before the roots are large enough to explore enough soil to gather their own nutrition. Cool and wet conditions, slow root development and growth, and phosphorus releases from the soil slower in soil temperatures lower than 70 degrees Fahrenheit; therefore starter fertilizers are most beneficial in the spring that have cold and wet soils. However, starter fertilizers are also beneficial when other environmental stresses that slow root and shoot growth are present. Soybeans are very sensitive to salt therefore, many growers do not think about using starter fertilizer with their soybeans. Since the onset of low salt starter fertilizers, many agronomists have been recommending starter fertilizer in planted soybeans. Safety of these low salt starters improves when water is added to them in order to dilute the salt down. This trial was designed to show the benefit of using a low salt starter fertilizer on soybeans.
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