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Soybean Plant Establishment Factors



NDSU has conducted soybean production management trials that have included numerous plant establishment factors. The data from 1999 to 2013 trials has been compiled as a quick reference for farmers and crop advisers.

The following is the current (April 2014) listing of yield comparisons by percentage (%) for selected establishment factors (numbers in parenthesis at end of each statement indicate number of trial site-years):

    • Yield with reduced-till systems (no-till, strip till and direct seeded) was 7% > conventional tillage (19).

    • Soybean following wheat yielded 7% > soybean as prior crop (6).

    • Early planted soybean (last week in April through first week in May) yield was 13% > mid-May planted soybean (4).

    • Planting rates of 150,000 to 175,000 pure live seeds (pls)/acre yielded 5% > planting rates of 100,000 to 130,000 pls/acre (21).

    • Yield with intermediate row spacing (14 to 21 inches) was 6% > wide rows (28 to 30 inches) (20).

    • Use of fungicide-treated seed provided yield 5% > untreated seed (28).
    • Weed control starting when soybean are planted provided yield 4% > post-emergence weed control initiated when weeds were 2- to 4-inches tall (5).

Consider using the ‘underlined’ factors to increase soybean yield potential in 2014.

Greg Endres
Area Specialist, Cropping Systems  

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