This post highlights material covered in a breakout session sponsored by Northern Partners Cooperative at the recent ILSoyAdvisor Field Days. To see other posts in this Field Days recap series, click here

It’s well-known that producing more pods per plant and more seeds per pod results in more yield. But it’s also a fact that soybeans don’t respond well to stress—usually by aborting flowers and pods, sometimes up to 60% of them.

As a grower, your goal should be for plants to flower early and often, turn as many flowers into pods as possible, and fill out pods with as many bigger seeds as possible. To meet this goal, you need a strong start followed by a program tailored to mitigate stress and ensure that plants have what they need to maximize pod—and yield—potential.

Start with a solid foundation at planting to position yourself for maximum yield. There are many factors to consider throughout the duration of the growing season: good soil conditions, planting population, plant nutrition, disease protection and weed control all play important roles in your ultimate success. These fundamental factors could help you reach 65 to 70 bushels per acre.

To move to the next level and aim for yields closer to 80 bushels per acre, plants need an additional kick. Many growers are seeing positive returns from adding nitrogen and applying plant growth regulators (PGRs) and foliar nutrients. Applying PGRs, for example, helps soybean plants mitigate stress and protects growth of flowers, pods and seeds, adding to yield at the end of the day.

To increase yield, you must increase yield potential. Set your crop up for success by starting with a solid foundation, and incorporate available technologies throughout the growing season to finish strong and harvest more bushels.

Adam Day is an agronomist and account manager for Northern Partners Cooperative. Contact him at or 815-866-2752.

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