If you’re concerned about Iron Deficiency Chlorosis (IDC) in your soil, you might believe you have to rely on lower-yielding soybean varieties to try and salvage the best yield you can. In the past, you may have tried to solve your IDC problem by just applying more iron to the soil. However, without taking into consideration how the iron is used by the plant, the iron you add may just become bound in an insoluble form in the soil, unavailable for plant uptake.
In a recent Beck Ag Experience Exchange Panel, Brian Kuehl, West Central Distribution’s director of product development talked about Soygreen, a combination of iron and a powerful ortho-ortho EDDHA chelating agent called Levesol™ that removes IDC as a limiting factor, allowing growers to choose higher yielding soybean varieties.
Check out the following audio clip from the Beck Ag Experience Exchange Panel about IDC.
Successfully Battling Iron Deficiency Chlorosis Audio Transcript
Moderator: Dr. Knake, looking at resource five, why does iron tend to get locked up in the soil? You said it’s a soil chemistry problem. How does the soil chemistry and the moisture in the environment interact to make iron less available to the plant?
Dr. Ray Knake: Well, the pH is such a big factor. When you have a high pH soil, that gets the whole thing going. If we have ideal conditions, if the plant is growing well and the root is getting established and can start taking up the iron, we see a little less of the problem. Then you bring in the springtime rains, especially lower areas where the water stays in the soil and doesn’t drain well, we lose the air in the soil. It becomes very saturated, and the root just cannot take up the iron that is available.
Moderator: As far as our background here, Dr. Knake, looking at resource six, what are some of the strategies that have been tried to remedy or to mitigate the impact of IDC?
Dr. Ray Knake: Obviously there’s a number of things that have been tried, mainly just trying to make more iron available by adding iron that can be taken up by the plant and used, if it can get past the early seed and problem area and avoid the chlorosis period. Many times the plants never catch back up and we have major yield losses.
Moderator: I think a lot of you growers who have dealt with this problem for years are familiar with the chemistry, the spots in your field and so on. Let’s move on from the background and move ahead with Brian Kuehl from West Central and talk a little bit about a more effective management option that is available. We’d like to talk a little bit about Soygreen, an in-furrow product that makes iron more available to field crops. Brian, tell us a little bit about what Soygreen is and how it’s different.
Brian Kuehl: We developed Soygreen specifically for the problem of IDC. When we sought out to develop this product, we really were looking for not just an iron product, but one that was available to the plant all season long. Soygreen is simply two major components. It’s iron plus a very, very strong chelating agent that we refer to as an ortho-ortho EDDHA [also known as Levesol]. That chelating agent has the ability to hold on to iron, keep it available to the plant, and maintain its availability for the entire growing season.
Moderator: Eric, you’ve got some experience with Soygreen with your customers there in the Hancock area. When did you start using Soygreen and what has been your experience over the years?
Eric Rice (Trico Ag Service, Hancock, MN): I would say we started using Soygreen approximately eight years ago. We’ve been using it for quite awhile. It’s been a very steady product, it always seems to perform. Some years environmentally, you have a little more IDC pressure, so you see a lot more results then, but even years with very little pressure, we still see results. So it’s been very consistent and a very good product for us.
Moderator: I like the comments you made about consistency. Brian, you’ve done a lot of research trials, I would imagine, with Soygreen. How would you describe the consistency of the product from year to year?
Brian: Soygreen is a very strong performer from year to year. If the problem is IDC, and that is the major limiting factor, Soygreen will perform in that field. As far as the actual yield results that we get, that’s entirely dependent on how bad the IDC is, and what the yield potential is of the soybean. Typically, a lot of the soybean varieties that we have used in IDC areas are lower yielding varieties. When you use a product like Soygreen, you can actually remove IDC as your limiting factor and can choose your variety based on how well that variety will perform in that area, and try to get a variety that will give top-end yields.