This webinar will take a deeper dive into how a soybean plant works and functions, which leads to a better understanding of how to manage to the pain points of a soybean plant. Looking at a soybean plant as a factory will show that how it’s managed directly impacts the output.

Presenter: Dustin Bowling, CCA & Agronomy Manager for AgriGold

Dustin grew up on a family farm consisting of corn, soybean, beef and dairy cattle near Chillicothe, MO. He developed a love for corn genetics and breeding at the young age of 14 when he started doing seasonal work for the local Pioneer Hi-Bred research station. Dustin graduated from the University of Central Missouri with a degree in Agronomy in 2004. After college Dustin worked in the Ag Retail industry, conducting seed, chemical, fertilizer, and precision ag sales. He joined the AgriGold team in 2011 as the agronomist for Missouri, Kansas, and Southern Iowa.

In his current role as Western Agronomy Manager, Dustin works with our agronomy team, sales force, and customers West of the Mississippi river in the areas of agronomic training and product selection of our corn and soybean lineups. Other than his passion for all things agriculture, Dustin enjoys spending time with his wife and two daughters on their family farm.

Download Bowling’s PowerPoint presentation.

  • Growers try to apply corn management strategies to soybeans, but it doesn’t work
  • We need to simplify strategies around the soybean plant and put it into a position to win
  • The soybean plant is a factory that uses natural resources to produce a product
  • A successful soybean “factory” has:
    • 17 essential nutrients for growth and development
    • Plenty of sunlight because the plant is fueled entirely by sunlight
  • The big three nutrients that determine success are:
    • Carbon, oxygen and hydrogen
    • These are the power sources of the plant
  • Soybeans can’t fix carbon when it is under heat stress, but corn can
    • Because of this advantage, 30,000 corn seeds can yield 250 bushels, but 120,000 soybean seeds can yield 80 bushels
    • These plants are wired differently and can’t be managed the same way
  • Soybeans require 17 nutrients to produce large yields in the end and run plant processes
    • Nitrogen, phosphorus, copper and potassium are the raw materials used to produce grain
    • Sulfur, calcium, boron and manganese are all secondary nutrients that are necessary to help the plant grow properly
  • The soybean growing season is broken down into four quarters in a year
  • In Q1, it is important to establish soybean stands, which is impacted by when the seed is planted
    • A soybean plant can get much bigger if it is planted earlier around April 15
    • Soybean cold tolerance is better than initially thought and can survive cold spells if the seed is planted in soil with a 50-degree F temperature
    • Seed treatments make a difference with cooler soil temperatures
    • Planting earlier has resulted in greater yield and better response to fertilizer
  • Q2 is the most forgiving quarter of growth
    • Focus on herbicide program completion
    • Avoid damage below cotyledons
    • Relatively low nutrient needs
  • Q3 begins at flowering
    • Nutrient demand skyrockets in Q3 and into Q4 because the soybean plant starts its reproductive processes in Q3 and the plant still needs to achieve two-thirds of its height
  • Q4 begins at pod formation
    • Water usage peaks and sunlight is needed to help move nutrients from the plant tissue into the seed
    • September is key for a strong finish
      • If water and sunlight are available, heat will drive more grain fill
      • This explains RM limitations in some areas
      • This explains movement to earlier RMs in areas adopting earlier planting dates
  • Maximize plant exposure to solar radiation
    • May to August is the peak in solar radiation
    • If soybeans are planted in May, they miss the key sunlight months

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