For many facets of crop production, there is only one opportunity to get it right. Planting has to happen before the cutoff for crop insurance, harvest has to happen as soon as possible once the crop is mature, and even pre-emergence herbicides need to be applied before the crop comes up out of the ground.
But, with ammonium sulfate (AMS), you have a flexible window of application to make a difference for a crop. With readily available sulfur and nitrogen, AMS can be applied within two to three weeks of planting, from pre-plant all the way to V4/V5, or topdressed around bloom or early reproductive stages, to support the key plant development times of nodulation and pod fill. And a recent study from the University of Illinois even suggests that AMS can be applied in the fall to aid in residue decomposition, benefiting the following year’s crop.
Missouri farmer Marc Kaiser is a third-year participant in the AdvanSix Supplement Your Soybeans program. In his first two years in the program, he topdressed AMS on his soybeans at V3/V4. This year, Kaiser is trialing a pre-plant application of AMS. For Kaiser, it’s all about finding the right fit for AMS on a particular farm.
“It’s just a matter of finding the right fit for it on your farm and for each individual field,” Kaiser said. “Just because you didn’t see a huge benefit one year doesn’t mean you will not see a more significant benefit the next.”
While Kaiser has seen positive results from topdressing AMS on his soybeans and expects to see a yield advantage from this year’s pre-plant application, he is still fine-tuning how AMS best fits his operation. Next year, Kaiser is considering doing a split application of AMS by applying some pre-plant and topdressing the rest around flowering.
“I think we’re going to find out that the more chances you give the soybeans to take up all the availability of AMS without losing it, the better,” Kaiser said.
No matter when AMS is applied to soybeans, it provides sulfur and nitrogen that the plant can readily use to support plant growth and development. From supporting nodulation and root growth when applied at planting to supporting pod fill when topdressed, AMS is a tool that can help farmers meet their goals and maximize their yield potential.
To learn more about the benefits of AMS on soybeans, visit: supplementyoursoybeans.advansix.com.