Fred Below shares the six secrets of soybean success
3. Maximize genetic yield potential: Similar to corn hybrids, Below believes that proper selection of soybean varieties is crucial for success in a management intensive, high yield production system. Below’s 2012 research revealed an additional 3.2 bu/A with this secret.
4. Protect yield potential and maximize seed size: “Disease and insect control is imperative for producing any crop,” Below said. “By using a combination of a fungicide and insecticide, critical soybean leaf area is maintained for intercepting sunlight and maximizing seed fill.” Below’s 2012 research revealed an additional 3.6 bu/A with this secret.
5. Enhance seed emergence and vigor: Through the use of fungicidal, insecticidal and plant growth regulator seed treatments, early season growth and vigor will be protected from yield robbing stresses such as disease and insects. Below’s 2012 research revealed an additional 2.6 bu/A with this secret.
6. Utilize narrow row spacing: Below believes there are distinct advantages to planting narrow rows, specifically 20 inch rows. This would allow precision fertilizer placement in a corn-soybean rotation. “Planting soybean on these same rows might take advantage of the previous year’s corn fertility practices. Furthermore, 20 inch rows improve light interception and ultimately provide a good foundation for maximizing yields,” he said. Below’s 2012 research revealed an additional 2.1 bu/A with this secret.
Woodyard suggests that growers interested in high-yield soybean production should put together a season-long road map for their acres. “Early in the season, growers should set aside time to develop a full-season plan on how they’re going to get the most out of every acre,” said Woodyard.
For more information on Below and his research, visit http://cropphysiology.cropsci.illinois.edu/.