Can Benefit Beans

Livestock producers who need more land for manure applications can apply moderate amounts on fields that will be planted to soybeans.

So says Tim Wagar, area extension educator with the University of Minnesota Extension Service.

"There can be positive and negative effects from using manure for soybeans," says Wagar.

"The main advantage is that it provides more flexibility for producers, providing additional acres for distributing manure. Not applying manure to the same fields year after year spreads out environmental risks. A secondary benefit is that soybeans efficiently utilize nutrients in manure, which can lead to a yield response."

The disadvantages, says Wagar: potential increases in weed and disease pressure, and plant lodging. Also, too much manure can cause excess soil phosphate levels, a lower soil pH and salt damage from injection rows.

"The key is to use moderate rates," he says.