At the end of the day, the yield of soybeans is determined by the number of pods per acre. The greater the number of pods, the higher yield. And soybeans can potentially bear a lot of pods however they will easy abort as much as 60% of flowers or small pods, especially when plants are stressed.

Calcium plays several roles in plant structure and metabolism. It is an integral part of cell wall structure, carbohydrate movement and production and retention of flowers and pods. It is taken up by the roots and moves through the xylem with the water stream to cellular sites of action. However, if the plant runs out of a supply of calcium from the soil, either due to a deficiency or lack of water movement, it can’t remobilize calcium from older tissues like it does nitrogen and a site-specific calcium deficiency can occur even though a tissue test could show ample calcium concentrations.

Fortalis® is a crop enhancement foliar spray for soybeans that could be tested in the 2018 Yield Challenge. How does it work? Its’ proprietary ingredients increase yield by mobilizing calcium already banked in plant tissues, resulting in higher pod retention. When applied as a tank mix, Fortalis with a fungicide and/or insecticide improves plant health increases pod set and fill resulting in higher yield. Plant Impact recommends applying 14 oz/acre of Fortalis with fungicide from growth stage R1 to R3.

Across 176 trials from 2015 to 2017, they averaged a 4.5-bushel yield gain with a singled application of Fortalis plus a fungicide, a gain of 8.1 percent. However, those numbers alone didn’t impress me as much as the 84 percent showing a positive return and 74% showing a positive economic return. The technology seems to be working.

Black Box

In an earlier blog Does Technology Pay? I stated that technology can pay a return, but you need to feel comfortable that it’ll produce a positive economic return, that cost of the technology is reasonable, application is simple, and it will make you a profit.

When considering adopting a new technology, ask to see piano graph of yield results because the probability of profitability should be obvious. Fortalis is a product that passes my litmus test for success of a yield benefit and potential return, but you should always run your own tests on your fields in your environments.

Plant Impact, who manufacturers Fortalis is a sponsor in the 2018 Yield Challenge and you can find information about Fortalis at Fortalis Yields If interested in entering the Yield Challenge side-by-side this season and testing Fortalis on soybeans, email Mike Eades at

Agronomist Daniel Davidson, Ph.D. posts blogs on agronomy-related topics. Feel free to contact him at

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About the Author: Dan Davidson

Soybean agronomist Daniel Davidson, Ph.D., posts blogs on topics related to soybean agronomy. Feel free to contact him at or ring him at 402-649-5919.