Alternative Soybean Production Management Options in Acidic Soils
Sustainable Production
DiseaseField management Pest
Parent Project:
This is the first year of this project.
Lead Principal Investigator:
Ryan Buetow, North Dakota State University-Dickinson
Co-Principal Investigators:
Project Code:
NDSC 2023 Agr 20
Contributing Organization (Checkoff):
Institution Funded:
Brief Project Summary:
When soil pH values drop below 5.5, it impacts nutrient availability, bacteria activity, and reduces yield. The best management practice is an application of lime, however it takes a large amount to change soil chemistry to adequate levels. Research in other states has shown phosphorous and gypsum applied with the seed can help plant growth in acidic environments. This project will compare lime, gypsum, and phosphorous treatments applied with the seed in acidic soils to observe any impact on soybean plant vigor and yield.
Key Beneficiaries:
#agronomists, #extension crop specialists, #farmers
Unique Keywords:
#additives, #agronomy, #nutrients, #ph, #seed treatments, #soil health
Information And Results
Project Summary

Many fields in western North Dakota are having issues with pH values below 5.5. When the pH drops below these levels it impacts nutrient availability, activity of bacteria in the soil, and reduce yield from Aluminum toxicity. The best management practice for these situations in no-till is a surface application of lime, however it takes a large amount of product to change soil chemistry to adequate levels. Producers are searching for less costly short-term options, especially for rented land. Work done in Oklahoma and Montana has shown phosphorous applied with the seed in small grains can help growth in acidic environments by tying up the Aluminum. A similar effect has been shown in some studies with application of gypsum, however it needs to be studied further. Some producers in southwestern ND have applied lime directly with the seed. Low levels of lime, phosphorus, and gypsum won't have long term impacts on soil pH; however, it could be an option for getting by on rented ground or while waiting for surface applied lime in no-till systems to remediate the soil over time. A comparison of lime, gypsum, and phosphorous treatments applied with the seed in acidic soil is needed to observe impact on yield and growth in soybean.

Project Objectives

1. Evaluate growth and yield differences among treatments

a. Observe plant stand, vigor, height, and yield
b. Use visual scores and measurements to better understand soybean growth in relation to harvested yield
c. Calculate the economic outcome of using different management strategies

2. Increase the knowledge base of soybean practices in southwest North Dakota

a. Create a bulletin on soybean production in southwest North Dakota
b. Host workshops to present data and answer production questions
c. Host in-service training to county extension agents
d. Use social media and other media outlets to distribute information to growers and the general public

Project Deliverables

Data to assist in management decisions in acidic soils.

Progress Of Work
Final Project Results

Benefit To Soybean Farmers

Soybean acreage continues to spread west into North Dakota. While farmers are adding soybeans into their rotation, there is limited research on soybean production in no-till acidic soils. This research would help to answer a few questions that producers have when considering soybean production. We would be building off of past research and allow us to more confidently consult producers and industry in the region on best management practices.

The United Soybean Research Retention policy will display final reports with the project once completed but working files will be purged after three years. And financial information after seven years. All pertinent information is in the final report or if you want more information, please contact the project lead at your state soybean organization or principal investigator listed on the project.