KTIC Radio Extension Corner: Prepare now for iron deficiency chlorosis in soybeans

This is Dr. Nathan Mueller, your local agronomist with Nebraska Extension for Dodge and Washington County. Last week I discussed when and where corn zinc deficiencies more commonly occur in Northeast Nebraska. Visit croptechcafe.org to listen to last week’s radio message. Iron deficiency chlorosis in soybeans is the other main micronutrient concern in Northeast Nebraska.

Several factors increase the likelihood of iron deficiency chlorosis in soybeans including:

  • High soil pH along with high soluble salts, carbonates, or nitrate-nitrogen

Iron deficiency chlorosis in soybeans or sometimes called “Platte Valley Yellows” has been something we have dealt with since we started planting soybeans. Iron is the fourth most abundant element, however at high soil pH, plant availability can be limiting. Soybean roots release hydrogen and organic acid ions to acidify soil and increase iron uptake. Corn releases chelates, called phytosiderophores, to increase iron uptake. This is a much more effective mechanism. That is why you don’t see iron deficiency in corn very frequently like you do in soybeans.

So how can we help our soybeans?  Variety selection, wide rows, higher seeding rates, in-furrow starter fertilizer, foliar fertilizer, and elemental sulfur are all options.  However, not all of these options are equally effective or economical.

Most growers and seed dealers have been using variety selection. Something to do besides variety selection is using Fe-EDDHA, an effective in-furrow applied chelated iron fertilizer, applied on the seed. Recent research has found that variety selection is not as critical when varieties are supplemented with in-furrow seed-applied chelated iron fertilizer.  An example of a product name for this kind of fertilizer is called SoyGreen.

To learn more about effective management practices for iron deficiency chlorosis in soybeans, call me at 727-2775 or visit our local website at croptechcafe.org. Know your crop, know your tech, know your bottom line. This is Dr. Nathan Mueller, your local agronomist with Nebraska Extension on KTIC radio.

KTIC Radio Extension Corner: Prepare now for iron deficiency chlorosis in soybeans
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