Dr. Fred Below discusses years of research on “The Six Secrets of Soybean Success,” a concept for producing high-yield soybeans which he evaluated each year from 2012 to 2016. Six Secrets demonstrates how growers can put technologies together for increasing soybean yields through intensive crop management. In addition, Dr. Below reviews some of his work on soybeans needing supplemental nitrogen.

Key Takeaways:

  • Six Secrets to Soybean Success
    • Weather: This is the most impactful on soybean yields, influencing planting date, soil moisture, and contributing to the overall growing success of the plant.
    • Fertility: Based on field trials, extra fertility—especially phosphorous—has the most significant impact on yield.
    • Foliar protection: Fungicides and insecticides are crucial to provide into the mix to help prevent yield loss.
    • Genetics/variety: Yield is highly influenced by seed variety, and the fullest maturity variety tends to lead to the largest yield increases.
    • Row arrangement: Planting in 30-inch rows rather than 20-inch rows is a huge added cost. Plus, the benefit of 20-inch rows increases when other yield-boosting practices are combined into the system.
    • Seed treatment: Choosing a treated seed can help maximize the growing potential of the plants.
  • All factors are important and interact with each other. Weather is always number one, but the rest vary in level of importance depending on the year and individual farm.
  • 60% of soybean yield comes from nodes 7 – 13 so it is important to protect leaves at those nodes.
  • Adding one more pod to each soybean plant is worth two bushels per acre.
  • Soybean varieties differ in their response to fertility and to foliar protection.

1 CEU in Crop Management Available. Visit the Certified Crop Adviser website to self-report your credit after viewing the webinar recording.

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