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NDSU Trials Show Pinto Bean Responds to Phosphorus Starter Fertilizer

NDSU dry bean fertilizer trials (NDSU Photo) NDSU dry bean fertilizer trials (NDSU Photo)
Dry bean plants (NDSU Photo) Dry bean plants (NDSU Photo)
NDSU trials show phosphorus-based starter fertilizer can increase pinto bean seed yield.

Phosphorus-based starter fertilizer can increase pinto bean seed yield, says Greg Endres, North Dakota State University Extension cropping systems specialist.

That finding is the result of nearly a decade of NDSU phosphorus-based starter fertilizer trials conducted at the Carrington Research Extension Center. The trials evaluated pinto bean response primarily with liquid 10-34-0 fertilizer applied using different methods and rates in loam soil generally testing low in phosphorus.

Here are some highlights of the research:

  • Pinto bean seed yield increased more than 3 hundredweight (cwt) per acre with in-furrow (IF, meaning fertilizer placed directly with seed) -applied 10-34-0 at 2 to 3 gallons per acre (gpa), compared with the untreated check. However, Endres notes that seed-placed fertilizer can cause bean stand reductions, especially in dry, coarse-textured soils or with high fertilizer rates.
  • Yield was similar with IF- and band-applied (2 inches horizontally placed from planted seed) 10-34-0 at 3 to 6 gpa, although the plant population was reduced with IF application.
  • Broadcast or midrow (centered between 22- or 30-inch rows) band-applied 10-34-0 did not increase yield.
  • Yield was similar between low (2.5 to 3 gpa) and high (5 to 6 gpa) rates of IF-applied 10-34-0. The high fertilizer rate reduced the plant population.
  • The plant population and yield were similar between IF-applied 10-34-0 and the low-salt fertilizer 6-24-6.

More information about this research is available in NDSU Extension publication “Pinto Bean Response to Phosphorus Starter Fertilizer in East-central North Dakota.” It’s available online at A printed version is available from the Carrington Research Extension Center or NDSU Extension county offices.

“The published research summary should assist North Dakota farmers as they make pinto bean plant nutrition plans for the upcoming crop season,” Endres says.

Northarvest Bean Growers Association provided support for the research.

Visit for general recommendations on dry bean plant nutrition.

NDSU Agriculture Communication – May 1, 2019

Source: Greg Endres, 701-652-2951,

Editor: Becky Koch, 701-231-7875,

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