Research will investigate if foliar fertilizer and fungicide applications increase soybean yields

A 2017 on-farm research trial in Perry, Michigan, will investigate foliar applied nutrient and fungicide effects on soybean yield.

Soybean producers are concerned that nutrient deficiencies and foliar diseases may be causing yield reductions in Michigan. As such, soybean producers tend to apply supplemental nutrient sources and fungicides even without sound experimental evidence to support such practices.

A trial is being conducted in 2017 to test the effectiveness of Blackmax 22 (0-0-4) and the fungicide Priaxor in a tank-mixed foliar application. Blackmax 22 contains humic substances and potassium. It is advertised as increasing nutrient availability, moderating salt toxicity, improving plant and microbial activity and increasing crop yields. Priaxor is effective in controlling several soybean fungal diseases.

This Michigan State University Extension replicated trial consisted of three treatments:

  • T1: Check (grower standard practice with no foliar treatments).
  • T2: Foliar applied Blackmax 22 at the rate of 1 gallon per acre at R3.
  • T3: Foliar applied Blackmax 22 at 1 gallon per acre plus fungicide Priaxor at 8 fluid ounces per acre at R3.

The trial was planted May 25, 2017. The plots were 24 rows wide at 30-inch row spacing. The variety was Northrup King 20-T6. The planting population was 140,000 seeds per acre. The previous crop was corn. Seed was inoculated prior to planting. The Blackmax 22 and fungicide were foliar applied July 22, 2017.

Michigan soybean farmers continue to show interest in using supplemental nutrients and fungicides. There is merit for ongoing on-farm research towards identifying site-specific factors and practices that would contribute to consistent soybean yield responses.

This study was funded by the Michigan Soybean Promotion Committee. I’d like to thank Will Wilson, soybean producer from Perry, Michigan; Trevor Kraus, technical service representative for Michigan and Ohio BASF The Chemical Company; Mike Staton, senior MSU Extension educator; and Martin Chilvers, MSU Extension specialist, for their support and collaboration in this study.

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