Soybean growers want to have a better yield this year! But, how?

Photo: Ken Chamberlain, OARDC Ohio State

Photo: Ken Chamberlain, OARDC Ohio State

by Sin Joe Ng
Sustainable Plant Systems major

For every grower, the most critical question is how many bushels per acre of yield can be produced this year? There are several ways that can be practiced to obtain a greater yield, however it is not always 100 percent guaranteed that things would turn out well.

By integrating all the methods appropriately, growers should see an increase in yield and meet their goals. The following examples provide methods to improve soybean yield (for the midwest):

1) If possible, select disease resistant variety like (soybean aphid resistant variety and soybean cyst nematode resistant variety). Planting resistant varieties can help reduce the damage on the crop by pathogen.  Growers should determine what diseases and other pests they have in their field to determine what resistant varieties would be recommended for their field, soil type, etc.

2) Early planting is recommended. There can be yield losses up to one bushel per acre per day if planting is beyond May 10.

3) Narrow row spacing. It is recommended to plant a 15 inch row spacing rather than a 30 inch row spacing. Narrow row spacing not only helps to avoid the growth of weeds, but also increases light interception between soybean plants, which then promotes better growth.

4) Weed control. In order to avoid yield loss, it is important to keep the field weed free for the first four weeks after soybean crop has emerged.

5) Apply fertilizer when needed. Both macronutrients and micronutrients are significant in crop growth. Diagnose the deficiency symptoms correctly, and apply the right amount of nutrients.

I find this topic interesting because if I have to plant soybean crop for living, I want to make sure I can acquire the maximum yield from my crop. I deserve to earn the greatest profit from the effort I put in it. Also, yield increase will benefit consumer since there will be sufficient amount of food for everyone.

More info:

> Three Easy Steps to Boost Soybean Yields (

> Managing Soybean for High Yield (Iowa State Univ.)

This blog post was an assignment for Societal Issues: Pesticides, Alternatives and the Environment (PLNTPTH 4597). The views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the class, Department of Plant Pathology or the instructor.

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