One of the next new things in the soybean world may be in-furrow applications. While this is still a relatively new practice, the idea of using fungicides, insecticides, or starter fertilizers is promising as it may help start the plant off to a faster growth trajectory.
In-furrow products differ from seed treatments as they theoretically protect the area around the seed and in the furrow. In contrast, seed treatments provide a limited area of protection since it’s only on the seed. But do they do the job they claim and more importantly, are they worth the cost of the product?
In research sponsored by the NCSPA, Dr. Jim Dunphy has been testing in-furrow products as part of a bigger non-foliar potential yield enhancement study for a few years. Below are results from that experiment. The numbers of years each product was tested is in parenthesis.
Over at least 2 years of testing, only two of the in-furrow products showed an increase in yield when compared to an untreated check, Priaxor and Agzyme. Priaxor is a fungicide by BASF and AgZyme is a micronutrient spray. While these two products did give a slight boost, the yield was not above 2 bu/acre for either product, meaning the yield bump would likely not pay for the cost of the treatment.
This small increase in yield and the inconsistency of the other products applied would make me wait until more data is collected on the value of in-furrow products before suggesting you try them on your soybeans.