ARS Works on Nitrogen-Recovering Soybeans

A new soybean germplasm removes nitrogen from the soil rather than the air.

Published on: Dec 8, 2006

USDA's Agricultural Research Service recently released a new soybean germplasm that helps soybeans recover nitrogen from the soil. The germplasm, called Nitrasov, could potentially be developed into a cultivar that would help animal producers manage livestock waste.

Nitrasov is a non-nodulating soybean germplasm requiring a large amount of soil-applied nitrogen to reach an excellent seed yield. In field tests, it accumulated up to 17% more nitrogen from the soil than its parent, D68-0099.

Because of its capacity for recovering soil-applied animal waste, Nitrasov can help lower the risk of nitrate pollution of groundwater from animal waste used as fertilizer on soybeans. In ARS tests, Nitrasov's average seed yield was better than three other genotypes when all four were fertilized with swine-lagoon effluent.

The North Carolina Agricultural Research Service at North Carolina State University joined ARS in releasing the germplasm.