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High-quality soybeans need a good base and the right nutrients

Caring for the soil helps retain nutrients to provide soybeans a good start in the field. But sometimes growers need to add a little more to their fields to grow productive, high-quality soybeans.

Nutrients help soybeans grow

While soybeans require 14 minerals for growth, healthy soil can provide most of these. Farmers add fertilizer to increase nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, sulfur and iron to make up for the minerals the soil can’t provide. Unlike other crops, soybeans fix their own nitrogen from the soil through microorganisms living on nodules on the plant’s roots. High-yielding soybean varieties may require additional nitrogen.

conventional bean pods

A productive crop starts with healthy soil

Conservation tillage, cover crops and rotating crops are sustainable farming practices used to care for the soil as well. Producers manage their fields to ensure they have healthy soil year after year to produce quality crops.

Knowing what is there

Farmers test their soil to find out what nutrients need to be added for the crop they are planning to plant. Most universities recommend that soil tests are taken every two to four years.

Applying the right nutrients at the right time

Using information from a soil test, producers may apply fertilizer in the fall or spring depending upon the nutrients needed and the crop they are planting.