Think Twice Before Applying Nitrogen to Poorly Nodulated Soybean Fields

Shawn Conley, Soybean and Wheat Extension Specialist

Over the last 3 days my phone, email and twitter account has been blowing up with questions surrounding poorly nodulated soybeans and my thoughts regarding applying foliar nitrogen to alleviate those symptoms. I have been reluctant to write this article for two reasons.

  1. This article will contradict some of my colleagues’ thoughts (Identifying and responding to poor nodulation in soybean) however I would agree with their scenario of applying nitrogen to early-seeded, non-nodulating soybean planted on virgin ground.
  2. I like to speak from data and I don’t have a ton of data to speak from

So with these caveats in mind here is my thought process for asking growers and crop consultants to think twice before applying nitrogen to poorly nodulated soybean fields.

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