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Iron Deficiency Chlorosis in Soybean (06/09/16)

There is usually enough iron available in the soil for soybean. However, during the early season, the soybean plant may not be able to take up enough iron.

Iron Deficiency Chlorosis in Soybean

There is usually enough iron available in the soil for soybean.   However, during the early season, the soybean plant may not be able to take up enough iron. With insufficient iron the plants may develop iron deficiency chlorosis (IDC) symptoms in the newly formed leaves. Symptoms of IDC usually start to show up when the plant is under stress at the first or second trifoliolate growth stage (see photo taken this week). The cotyledon and unifoliate leaf normally will stay green.

IDC will show yellowing of leaf tissue in between the veins of the leaf. The veins may remain green. In severe IDC cases the leaves may turn brown and the tissue may die. Plants with chlorosis are often stunted and behind in growth and development compared with healthy plants. IDC is common when soybean plants are grown on high pH calcareous soils, especially when salt levels are elevated. For a full description of IDC see Extension publication SF1164 Soybean Fertility.

Although soybeans may grow out of the chlorosis, yields can be reduced due to IDC. The most important management practice is selecting chlorosis tolerant soybean varieties. A listing of IDC ratings of varieties can be found in the NDSU soybean variety trial results publication A843. If a field has IDC this year it is important to note which variety is used and what tolerance the variety has to IDC expression. The next time soybeans are seeded in this field a variety with more IDC tolerance is recommended.

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 Hans Kandel

Extension Agronomist Broadleaf Crops

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