Fred Below, Ph.D., professor of plant physiology and crop sciences at the University of Illinois, shared the “Six Secrets of Soybean Success” to help soybean growers increase yields through better management practices. Watch the webinar below to hear his latest research results and learn how growers can apply these research findings on their farms.

Key Takeaways:

  • The six most important factors to consider for soybeans include:
    1. Weather: This has the biggest impact on soybean yields, as it influences planting date, soil moisture, and contributes to the overall growing success of the plant.
    2. Fertility: Based on field trials, extra fertility—especially phosphorous—has the most significant impact on yield, so this component of growing soybeans is important to keep in mind.
    3. Genetics/variety: Seed variety has a definite influence on yield, and the fullest maturity variety tends to lead to the largest yield increases.
    4. Foliar protection: Incorporating fungicides and insecticides into the mix can help prevent yield loss.
    5. Seed treatment: Similar to foliar protection, choosing a treated seed can help maximize the growing potential of the plants.
    6. Row arrangement: There is a great cost to planting 30-inch rows rather than 20-inch rows, and the benefit of 20-inch rows is amplified when other yield-boosting practices are incorporated into the system.
  • These six factors require the prerequisites of proper drainage, a strong weed management program and appropriate pH levels.
  • Field studies focusing on banded fertility show that this practice can lead to a visual improvement over non-banded fertility during the early growing stages.
  • Based on research studies, fertigation—combined with foliar protection—leads to yield increases, regardless of the variety.

One CEU in Crop Management is available for viewing this webinar.

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