Understanding Nutrient Requirements and Utilization for High Yielding Soybeans

Shawn Conley, State Soybean and Small Grains Specialist

Soybean genetics and production practices have changed significantly in the past half-century. This has resulted in consistent yield increases of 0.42 bushels per acre per year in addition to physiological changes that have undoubtedly altered nutrient utilization for the soybean plant. This publication provides an updated summary of soybean uptake and partitioning of the three macro (nitrogen [N], phosphorus [P], potassium [K]), the three secondary (sulfur [S], calcium [Ca], magnesium [Mg]) and five of the micro (zinc [Zn], manganese [Mn], copper [Cu], iron [Fe], boron [B]) nutrients for soybean growth and development. These models can be used by farmers and ag industry personnel across the country to better understand and monitor soybean nutrient utilization during the growing season, including total uptake, the uptake rate and partitioning to help guide and evaluate fertility decisions. In addition, biomass (dry matter) accumulation can provide insight into soybean growth and development.

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