Fall checklist for improving soybean yields

decrease font size  Resize text   increase font size       Printer-friendly version of this article Printer-friendly version of this article

The following management practices have been proven to maximize soybean yields and profitability.

Reduce harvest losses

Preventable harvest losses average from one to two bushels per acre. However, they can easily double if the crop is lodged, short or harvest operations are significantly delayed. Please refer to the Michigan State University Extension articles on measuring soybean harvest losses and reducing soybean harvest losses for specific recommendations.

Reduce soil compaction during harvest and fall tillage operations

Soil compaction in the top 12 inches of the soil (surface compaction) adversely affects soybean yields by limiting root growth, reducing nodulation, inhibiting potassium and phosphorus uptake and promoting diseases such as sudden death syndrome and Phytophthora root and stem rot. A long-term study conducted in Minnesota showed that the effect of surface compaction on soybean yields was correlated to soil moisture and soil phosphorus levels. When less than 14 inches of rain occurred between the first of May and the first of September, soybean yields were greater in the tracked rows. When more than 14 inches of rain occurred between the first of May and the first of September, soybean yields were lower in the tracked rows. Inflating your tires to the proper pressure is an easy and effective way to reduce surface compaction.

Take soil samples for nutrient and pH analysis

Maintain soil pH between 6.3 and 6.5 to maximize nutrient availability and biological nitrogen fixation while minimizing soybean cyst nematode population growth. Researchers from the University of Wisconsin and Iowa State University found that soybean cyst nematode populations increased significantly at soil pH levels greater than 6.5. When soil pH levels exceed 6.5, manganese deficiency symptoms can occur in lakebed and outwash soils. Maintain soil phosphorus levels above 20 ppm and soil potassium levels above the critical levels for your soil types. The critical level for potassium is calculated by multiplying your soil’s cation exchange capacity (CEC) by 2.5 and adding 75. For example, the critical potassium level for a soil having a CEC of 12 meq/100gm is 105 ppm [(12 x 2.5) + 75]. Avoid fall applications of potassium fertilizer to coarse-textured soils having CEC’s less than 6 meq/100 gm and organic soils to prevent leaching losses.

Collect and submit soil samples for soybean cyst nematode analysis

Soybean cyst nematodes (SCN) cause more economic losses than any other soybean pest. Yield losses up to 15 bushels per acre can occur before symptoms are visible. Collecting and submitting soil samples in the fall before planting soybeans is the first step to reducing yield losses from SCN. The Michigan Soybean Checkoff will cover the cost of up to 20 nematode samples per farm per year. For more information, please refer to the fact sheet on sampling for soybean cyst nematodes available online at http://www.michigansoybean.org/.

Select high-yielding, well-adapted varieties

Variety selection is one of the most important management decisions producers make. On average, the highest-yielding varieties in the MSU soybean variety trials produce five bushels per acre more than the overall average yield for the trials. Utilize the Michigan Soybean Performance Report, information from seed companies and your on-farm trials to select high-yielding, well-adapted varieties. Consider the following characteristics: yield, SCN resistance, disease resistance or tolerance, lodging resistance and maturity.

This article was produced by the SMaRT project (Soybean Management and Research Technology) a partnership between Michigan State University Extension and the Michigan Soybean Checkoff program, SMaRT was developed to help Michigan producers increase soybean yields and farm profitability.

Prev 1 2 Next All

Buyers Guide

Doyle Equipment Manufacturing Co.
Doyle Equipment Manufacturing prides themselves as being “The King of the Rotary’s” with their Direct Drive Rotary Blend Systems. With numerous setup possibilities and sizes, ranging from a  more...
A.J. Sackett Sons & Company
Sackett Blend Towers feature the H.I.M, High Intensity Mixer, the next generation of blending and coating technology which supports Precision Fertilizer Blending®. Its unique design allows  more...
R&R Manufacturing Inc.
The R&R Minuteman Blend System is the original proven performer. Fast, precise blending with a compact foot print. Significantly lower horsepower requirement. Low inload height with large  more...
Junge Control Inc.
Junge Control Inc. creates state-of-the-art product blending and measuring solutions that allow you to totally maximize operating efficiency with amazing accuracy and repeatability, superior  more...
Yargus Manufacturing
The flagship blending system for the Layco product line is the fully automated Layco DW System™. The advanced technology of the Layco DW (Declining Weight) system results in a blending  more...
Yargus Manufacturing
The LAYCOTE™ Automated Coating System provides a new level of coating accuracy for a stand-alone coating system or for coating (impregnating) in an automated blending system. The unique  more...
John Deere
The DN345 Drawn Dry Spreader can carry more than 12 tons of fertilizer and 17.5 tons of lime. Designed to operate at field speeds up to 20 MPH with full loads and the G4 spreader uniformly  more...
Force Unlimited
The Pro-Force is a multi-purpose spreader with a wider apron and steeper sides. Our Pro-Force has the most aggressive 30” spinner on the market, and is capable of spreading higher rates of  more...
BBI Spreaders
MagnaSpread 2 & MagnaSpread 3 — With BBI’s patented multi-bin technology, these spreaders operate multiple hoppers guided by independent, variable-rate technology. These models are built on  more...

Comments (0) Leave a comment 

e-Mail (required)


characters left

1325 Bushel Grain Cart

Equipped with a 22” computer balanced auger with 5/16” flighting,the unloading speed is 50% faster than smaller grain carts with ... Read More

View all Products in this segment

View All Buyers Guides

Feedback Form
Feedback Form