As you evaluate the cost of inputs, consider this: Only focusing on expenses without subsequent income changes is misleading. The most profitable plan uses the most profitable inputs. Is a starter fertilizer one of those inputs? The authors look at university and grower research under various conditions to see when a starter fertilizer offers economic benefits.
At 89.5 million projected acres, the 2017 US soybean acreage would set a record high and near the planting estimate for corn at 90 million acres, according to the March 31 USDA Prospective Plantings Report. In Nebraska soybean acres were also up (5.7 million acres) while corn dropped to 9.55 million acres.
A review of 10 years of soybean research shows that reducing your seeding rate from 150,000 to 120,000 seeds/acre can result in a $10.69/acre savings without affecting yield (assuming a $60/unit seed cost at 140,000 seeds/unit).