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Sponsored: Starter Additives on Soybeans: Is It Worth It?

Applying a starter on soybeans is not something that most agronomists have typically recommended in the past. That’s because soybeans compensate for stand loss extremely well and make their own nitrogen, so why would a starter product pay?

Recently, Beck’s Practical Farm Research (PFR)® team started evaluating various starter additive products, applied in-furrow at planting, in an attempt to increase plant health, yield and profitability. What they have found is that pre-plant incorporated N on soybeans has generated a great return on investment (ROI). In-furrow starter additives are an excellent way to deliver N (and other nutrients) to the emerging soybean plants, especially in no-till scenarios.

This two-year, multi-location study has shown mixed results in 2015 and 2016. While last year the PFR teams saw little to no benefit with the use of a starter additive, in 2015 these products delivered a substantial ROI. In fact, the two-year average advantage for Generate®, a product from Agnition, is over $15.80/A.

4.7_2-year starter additive ROI

The entries treated with these starter additive products appears to have a slight development advantage early on when compared to the control. By mid-season, it was clear that the treated entries also had the upper hand on branching and vegetative growth compared to the control. But just because observational differences were noted (as shown in the photo below), it does not always translate into higher yields or a positive return on investment.


Beck’s PFR team will continue to evaluate the effect of starter additive products on soybeans in 2017 to determine if applying these products in-furrow is a worthwhile investment for farmers. Be sure to check back later in the year for these results.

To see the regional results of this study, click the links below.


Beck’s PFR is the largest source of unbiased, cutting-edge agronomic information in the industry. More than 110 different studies were conducted in 2016, comparing over 150 products across multiple locations to learn how different management practices and new technologies perform in field environments. In evaluating agronomic practices and input products, not comparing seed products, Beck’s PFR aims to help farmers maximize their input dollars and increase their bottom line. To view more studies from the 2016 PFR book, click here .

Practical Farm Research (PFR)® is a registered trademark of Beck’s Superior Hybrids Inc.

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