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S-Beans - Low N & S +

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  • S-Beans - Low N & S +

    All season long here in East Central Indiana - I have noticed yellowing in spots in my beans - We went from Winter right into Summer here ! To start off - it was dry - then we would catch a few tenths - now - we are catching every rain within 300 miles - it seems .

    I had neighbors seeing the same thing - What are these - as Shaun Casteel calls -- Highlighter green areas - I made a call to my go to Agronomist Brandon - with Gordon group - He had seen the same things - So Brandon came down and did soil samples - leaf tissue samples - you name it - and the results came back Low N and Low Sulfur !
    The next day was a Sat. So I walked out in the field and randomly pulled 5 plants from the Chronic Areas , then did the same thing in the non Chronic areas - did a pod count and found that there was just half the amount of pods in the Chronic vs the Non Chronis - simply put - there would about half as the Non Chronic's -

    The areas of affected beans are all over the place - some as small as 20 or 30 feet to as big as acres - some as big as 5 or 6 acres .

    I had been in contact with Dr. Shaun Casteel from Purdue about what we were seeing - Shaun said he would be down as Shaun has been doing some outstanding work with beans and Sulfur - As he said - Shaun was down to see for himself on - that I am - the worse bean farmer in Indiana ! lol He was here 8/31 Along with Dr. Neilsen - that I working with along with Dr. Camberato with a full field study - also with Sulfur . Shaun got here around 10:30 and was here till 3 or so -

    It is best that I just put up his latest article on this subject that was on this week's Chat 'n' Chew Café .

    A big thank you to Shaun for coming down and the great article on the problem here and also in many Indiana bean fields this season

    Here's the link

  • #2

    hope this helps..


    • #3
      ECI, did they have a explaintion of why only certain spots were dificant in N


      • #4
        I thought beans had ways of fixing their own N or is the S deficiency cause improper N intake.
        Second had they been sprayed with fungicide that also has activity against white mold killing the N fixing bacteria?
        Third does glyphosate use have anything to do with these increasing issues? (This is serious question not smart donkey question) Have they looked into it?
        Don't get tripped by what's behind you


        • #5
          Sunflower & Root -- I really don't have any great answers to your question yet - as I know they are working on it - This problem is not only in my fields - but wide spread .

          It does not matter if they are Round up or Liberty beans - I have a gut feeling it may be associated with low sulfur - but that's just my thoughts - We had a screwy year here - cold then hot and dry then rain + super high dew points + high temps - you name it - we have had it this year .

          There Is no white mold in the beans Root

          The main question I get is why is it just showing up this year if it's sulfur related - My answer is it didn't just happen - it started years ago when they started cleaning up the air = shutting down coal fired power plants - I went brain dead here - again ! As I did know what the amount of sulfur was free from the air -- vs what it is today and the requirement that corn and beans need a year - I noticed S deficiency 4 years ago in my corn and the last 3 have added S to my 2x2 starter - after this year - working with Dr Camberato - I not putting on enough - maybe half of what I needed - but they yields have been very good - I think for us - we need to look at 15 lbs of added S to our corn .

          Back to the beans and N - Beans do make there own N - But have to pull part of it from the soil - There could have been some compaction from last year that limited the roots to grow down - remember here !!! That bean roots are NOT like corn roots - corn root will grow down looking for water - where as beans quit growing down if the ground dry's out faster than the roots grow down - or to say - it the dirt dries out lower the root - that is where the bean root stop's growing - till it rains . There very well could be multiple problems here this year - so not so cut and dried as to exactly caused this .

          I will let you all know what we find out when I get it . but it is a interesting problem

          I will also try and get some more pictures of the Purdue - full field Sulfur study we have with them - All I can say is it's eye opening !


          • #6
            We've been putting sulfur on as well, just only on corn in with 28% using 10-12# of sulfur. My program was until 2years ago was P and K and other non leaching micros on cornstalks going to beans with enough extra to not have to spread any on the bean stubble for the following corn year. But like ECI stated corn and bean roots are different. Beans have a tap root and draw from under ground nutrients while corn can pull nutrients from closer to the surface with its fibrous roots. Switched to spreading fertilizer on bean stubble in the spring also adding 50% of nitrogen as urea for corn crop. 2nd year round it seems to have been better. For both corn and beans being no till
            Don't get tripped by what's behind you


            • #7
              I attended a pre wheat planting school last week, and YES, the clean air act was "mentioned" by extension, in fact, with the small "crowd" that day, the particular speaker
              knew all of us from other meetings, so wasn't worried about getting a t I t in the ringer for telling it like it is...

              I did show David, our son ECI"s post and the site..

              he response::

              A few months ago ah websites were running articles again about fertilizing beans with N...... still comes back to soil structure

              “Anything that has been affecting rooting and therefore, nodulation and N fixation can be the culprit. Many of these fields are still related to wet feet via compaction or other soil characteristics that influence water flow and water holding capacity. “

              “Figure 8. Representative plants that had adequate supply of N (left) and those that were deficient in N (and S). “

              Sulfur and a couple other micros are necessary to assist soybeans in fixing their own N
              ************************************************** ************************************************** ***************

              now going back several years, a neighbor picked up a piece of ground, we had observed the former operator putting on NH3regulaly, so the neighbor did the same and had
              a crop wreck, sent in a soil test, plenty of N but the rest of the nutrients, including micros, were way out of "wack"..Ray Ward helped out, prescribed a few nutrients to get things
              balanced...and it produces today as well as any in the neighborhood...

              now for the bs and smart donkey remarks...going to tell you ECI, that looks like a normal north west Kansas colored photo....yellow side hills, load out areas, in your case, guessing
              some standing water at times...

              BTW, "normally" the yellow areas in the soybeans are the same areas we have yellowing of sorghum, or milo, used to be called Iron chlorosis((sp))...(the micro element, NOT the friken

              I'm going to wait on the science..but the tap root, to me, is trying to tell us something...
              Last edited by dennis1; 09-09-2018, 08:31 PM.


              • #8
                One thing I found odd on my soil test. Supposedly I have been not putting enough sulfur on a field that has been no till corn for at least the last 8 years. Probably longer but that is the time I have farmed it. Any way I have been having spots like ECI described. I did quite a few soil tests this spring. Oddly enough my sulfur levels have gone from low to medium on most.
                What I did notice is that When I was taking samples ( Ok I was just digging) some areas were soft down to about 15 inches and then I couldn't get the spade through. Some were soft on down.
                I had suspected deep compaction and had part of it subsoiled last year. That corn stayed fairly uniform. Another farm that went to beans I was there with the chisel plow and just used that.
                At around a food deep the 4840 played with it. If I dropped another 1/2 inch it stopped it dead in its tracks.
                I am like you and thinking heavy axle loads have caused compaction down deep.


                • #9
                  Those Indiana boys just need to stay busy and stop looking for problems..

                  different but while we wait...



                  • #10
                    Sulfur has been the whipping boy in this clean air movement, but plants NEED it for growth. We've had an extremely dry year here, and the 1st thing you notice is the ground you treated well for years is just stronger in the tuff times. Another thing that could be contributing to deficiencies is from skimping on nutrients cuz crop prices are down, and the banker is tight. I've raised silage corn continuously during the dairy slump 10 years ago, using only lagoon manure and a little starter; that field is still on the edge of deficient...I spead a coupla loads of solids diagonally 2 years ago, and you can still see those 'lines'. This idea that nematode is the new swear word could be getting us in trouble...yes there are bad ones, but heavy ground uses them to keep the soil alive. The seed potato industry out here can attest to that. ?? when you notill, how much extra nitrogen do you need to burn down the vegetation?


                    • #11
                      When you notil, and your soil is healthy, all those critters are munching away...some pulling surface residue down, others leaving their poop clusters as nutrient from digested

                      That is in the perfect world, the expert becomes harder to define with distance..


                      • #12
                        I got interrupted and called out, wasn't sure when I'd get back...was an easy fix, so here I AM!

                        Yes PERCY, people just think they can out maneuver ma nature, whether WITH chemicals, fungicides and herbicides, minerals and nutrients...we as people seem to get
                        carried away with "fix" things, which leads to other NOT balanced conditions.

                        A reminder was brought up, a few years ago at a no-til meeting, ONE of the bat wings and swamp formulations that fixed something was being promoted by some, and
                        questioned by others. It was stated by ONE of the questioners, that NEW and IMPROVED bugs and critters should NOT cross county lines, because one could be
                        beneficial at one place and a detriment in another...which down the road, field or cow peas was going to be the crop to go to...and a lot were grown and harvested, benifiting several, but during the growing season, a moth...I don't remember the identity right now, was at what was supposed to be TO MANY for crop survival, so the cool weather people from a couple
                        M states recommended spraying...which was done, I saw the immediate results with the BAD moths stuck to sprayer tires, wheels, frames etc right at spraying, BUT the next year,
                        the beneficial "bugs" were NOT around, and for two years, the song birds were missing, which pissed some of the widows off to no end!(THOSE WIDOWS are also land owners)

                        Still works, balance balance balance goes easier with rotation rotation rotation.. and food for thought.


                        • #13
                          My soybeans turned a little yellow in spots this year too. I found out if a person gets tight, and doesn't spend the money to kill the volunteer corn, you need to put down a little extra N in the band with's always something.