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Soybean Response to Tillage Systems


No-till soybean seed yield averaged 2.1 bu/acre (6%) greater compared to production in conventional-till when averaged across 12 years (2003-14) in the CREC's cropping systems study. Soybean grown in reduced tillage systems (no-till, strip till or direct seeded) averaged 4% more yield compared to conventional till across 37 site-years in NDSU trials conducted during 1999-2014.

Soybeans planted using no tillage.

A soybean establishment study conducted at the CREC in 2011-12 included comparison of early planted soybean performance between two tillage systems. Soybean was planted May 5, 2011 and April 30, 2012 in conventional-till and direct seeded (into modest levels of small grain residue) plots, when soil moisture conditions were adequate for planting. Averaged across years, plant emergence was similar between tillage systems. Also, early season stands were similar: conventional-till = 132,000 plants/acre and direct seeded = 143,000 plants/acre. Seed yield averaged over the two years: conventional-till = 48.0 bu/acre and direct seeded = 49.2 bu/acre. The results from this study indicate that soybean plant establishment and seed yield were similar when planting early in a direct-seed environment compared to conventional till. Seed yield averaged over the two years: conventional-till=48.0 bu/A; direct-seeded=49.2 bu/A. The picture (taken June 2) was from the 2012 trial showing the two tillage systems.

Comparison of early planted soybean performance between two tillage systems.

Greg Endres
Area Specialist, Cropping Systems

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