Conservation Practices

Integrated Management Strategies for Maximizing Soybean Production in Conservation Tillage Systems

To help more farmers feel confident implementing conservation tillage systems, this project intends to gain insights into the interactions across soil types, starter fertilizer, tillage systems and row spacings and how they affect soybean growth, nutrient uptake, and seed yield and quality. The results of this multi-year project will enable more farmers to optimize soybean production under conservation tillage systems while preserving water and soil resources.

Project Information

  • How do conservation tillage practices affect soybean yield?
  • What role can starter fertilizer play in offsetting potential yield drag?
  • What are the interactions between different soil types, conservation tillage practices, row spacing and nutrient management?
  • Whiteside County
  • Piatt County
  • St. Clair County
  • Some farmers are hesitant to try conservation tillage because they’re concerned it’ll reduce yield. Often no-till soils can take longer to warm up and dry out, which can delay planting or cause soybean seed to sit in an unfavorable soil environment. Crop residue can also tie up nutrients that the soybean crop needs for stand establishment and growth. However, conservation tillage is beneficial to soil health and water quality.
  • Farmers will have more quantitative data about how conservation tillage impacts soybean growth, yield and seed quality.
  • They’ll also gain a better understanding of other management practices they could deploy, such as starter fertilizer, to offset any potential yield drag caused by conservation tillage.
  • By implementing conservation tillage across more of their acres, farmers will experience improvements to soil and water quality, while playing a leading role in sustainability efforts.
  • Dr. Amir Sadeghpour, Associate Professor, Southern Illinois University
  • Kristin Greer, Senior Research Specialist, UIUC

About the Lead Researcher

Dr. Giovani Preza Fontes
Assistant Professor & Field Crops Extension Agronomist
University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign (UIUC)

Are you a farmer or advisor?

If you’re a farmer or advisor, we invite you to take our Soybean Production Concerns Survey linked below to help guide future ISA research efforts. We also encourage you to contact us below with specific production challenge research ideas.

Are you a researcher?

If you’re a researcher interested in working with ISA on a project, we encourage you to contact us with your ideas. The RFP will open in early March. Contact us below to be added to the mailing list for more information.