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Update from the Field: Back in My Day

Posted by Dave Dyson, Agronomist on February 18, 2021

The saying “Back in my day” has always been toxic to my three teenage boys and a signal for their ears to stop listening. They get tired of me reminding them that everything from cars to music seemed to be better then. The one exception is that the older I become, the more I realize how little I knew back then. I remember helping on the family farm and spreading dry fertilizer ahead of the planter so “the nutrients would not get away from the seed.” As it turns out, allowing certain nutrients to get away from the seed may have been a good idea. 

Successful soybean germination can be affected by a multitude of weeds, insects and diseases, but research has shown high levels of chloride may affect the above ground growth. Dan Kaiser, extension nutrient management specialist for the University of Minnesota, has been writing about possible plant health issues in soybeans due to high levels of chloride in the soil during the early growth stages of the plant. The University of Minnesota has been conducting high chloride trials for the past four years. The research from his latest article shows a small reduction in yield when potassium chloride (0-0-60), was applied directly in front of soybean planting. Dr. Shaun Casteel, soybean extension specialist at Purdue University, has shown in a multi-year study that applying potash just ahead of planting can reduce yields by as much as 3-5 bushel per acre, Figure 1. The germination and plant stand counts do not seem to be affected, but once the plants are up and growing, a reduction in root growth has been observed. The stunting of roots can reduce the nutrient and water uptake to the plant. Reduction in root mass can also reduce the nodulation and nitrogen production. A soybean plant requires 5.7 units of nitrogen per bushel, so when the plant reduces nitrogen production, yield will be affected.  

Figure 1:  This slide from the Purdue Applicators training program on January 28, 2021, shows a significant decrease in yield when potash is applied directly in front of soybean planting. 

The best time to apply potash as a potassium source is in the fall or early spring. It is necessary to allow time and rain to remove the excessive chloride from the root zone. Not every fall will be conducive to applying potash, and early spring can provide wet soils and the potential for compaction. To widen the application window of potassium, The Andersons has developed products that are safe to be applied to the soybean’s tissue and provide an excellent source of potassium. Korrect®, Bean Maker, and First Pass® will not only provide potassium to both root and leaf tissues, but will also explode root growth, Figure 2. These products have shown great results whether the soil potassium levels are high or if the soil is lacking potassium. 

Figure 2: The plants on the right had Korrect applied in furrow during planting at a rate of 1 gal/ac, compared to the plants on the left which are the untreated check. The treatment that received Korrect had a 6.91 bu/acre yield increase compared to the untreated check.  

In conclusion, always apply nutrients using the right source, at the right rate, during the right time, in the right place. 


Please complete the form, and we’ll get you in touch with your Territory Manager from The Andersons. 

David Dyson

Dave Dyson is a regional agronomist for The Andersons’ Farm Centers which are located throughout Ohio, Michigan, and Indiana. He is an Indiana native and grew up on a dairy farm in Miami County. A graduate of Purdue University with a degree in Crop & Soil Science, Dave has a deep knowledge of various agronomic topics and is committed to helping growers improve their crops. If you have any questions, Dave can be reached at

© 2021 The Andersons, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Korrect and First Pass are registered trademarks of The Andersons, Inc.

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