2022 Research Yield Book

Soybean Starter Results and Discussion Sixteen rows of soybeans were planted at the population of 140,000 seeds per acre without starter fertilizer and 16 rows of soybeans were planted with 3 gallons of starter fertilizer and 5 gallons of water placed in furrow. The starter fertilizer had an analysis of 10 - 20 - 2 - 0.13 Zn – 0.14 Mn with a density of 10.72 lbs/gal and therefore provided 3.22 pounds of N, 6.43 pounds P2O5, 0.64 pounds K2O, 0.042 pounds of zinc, and 0.045 pounds of manganese. As the intent with a starter this blend is just intended in assisting the plant until the roots can acquire their own nutrients and not feed it throughout the growing season. We observed early in the growing season, the 16 rows that did not get starter fertilizer applied were less vigorous than the rest of the farm and later in the season appeared to be lighter in color. When we harvested the soybeans with starter fertilizer, they yielded 1.7 bpa better than the soybeans without the starter. Many will say it’s not worth the pain to use starter fertilizer for soybeans, but figure 12 helps us understand the value that starter fertilizer can bring to soybeans. If you increased net revenue on every acre by $5.69 it may not be a lot of extra money but it is a piece of the puzzle to make your operation profitable while still providing a positive ROI. In general starter fertilizer on soybeans will produce 1.5 to 3.0 bpa and realistically become even more important as we move soybean planting earlier in the spring. No these are not huge increases but starter fertilizer could be the missing piece to your operation and drive your yields up beyond the plateau that you could be stuck on.

16 Rows No Starter 16 Rows Starter

Moisture Yield 13.0 Grain Price

12.4 86.0

10.7 87.6



Product Cost $/gal Product Cost $/ac Difference from Check




Revenue Change


Net Revenue




Figure 12. Yield results and ROI calculations for the 2022 Soybean starter fertilizer trials.


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