Back to Basics with the Hefty Brothers: Tissue Sampling in Soybean Fields

soybean

Your soy checkoff works to help you increase the profit potential of your farm, and that begins with farm-management basics. Here are some

Brian Hefty

Brian Hefty

simple tips from Brian and Darren Hefty, of the “Ag PhD” TV show, on tissue sampling.

Why Tissue Sample?

We work with thousands of soybean farmers across the country, and they typically talk about weeds, insects and disease as yield-limiting factors. However, more often than not, fertility causes a bigger yield drop than any of those. If you are not using plant-tissue analysis to help fine-tune your fertility program, you are missing a great opportunity to improve your soybean yields.

How to Tissue Sample

In your field, pick the best and worst areas and mark those two spots with flags or GPS coordinates. Each week, pull tissue samples from those two spots and send them in separately to a testing lab. When the plant is in the seedling stage, send in a whole plant for tissue sampling. When the plants reach the reproductive growth stage, send in the first fully developed leaves from the top.

Darren Hefty

Darren Hefty

Continue to do this for eight to 10 weeks each summer for all of your crops. It costs about $20 per sample and only takes a few minutes each week. This information will help you to better invest the money you spend on fertilizer each year. Learn more about tissue sampling here.