May 1, 2011

Managing Irrigates Soybeans for High Yield

soybean examination

Western soybean growing areas with irrigation resources open up new opportunities to work with higher levels of soybean managemen​t. Soybeans have a real moisture vulnerability through pod fill, and having the ability to bridge the gap during a critical yield-building phase is a huge advantage. In my work with eastern Nebraska soybean farmers, I focus on these four management areas:

Give your beans the best possible start

  • Plant soybeans treated with Acceleron® Seed Treatment Products to defend against seedling diseases and early insects.
  • Start weed-free through tillage or burndown herbicides.
  • Apply a pre-emergent herbicide to widen out post-control options.

Avoid excessive early fertility

  • High fertility can encourage excessive vegetative growth, resulting in standability and harvesting issues later in the season.
  • Excessive vegetative growth can also be conducive to disease development.

Limit irrigation during vegetative growth

  • Unlike corn, soybeans do not set their yield potential during early vegetative periods.
  • Water to keep the plant developing, but do not over-water.

Take these steps during pod set and pod fill

  • Wrap up weed control before the bean’s reproductive stages begin.
  • Watch for insects, particularly aphids, and use insecticides as needed.
  • Foliar fungicide application shows the best results during the R3 stage of growth.
  • Late fertility applications show the best results around the R3 growth stage.
  • Irrigation is most critical from R3 to R5 when the plant is filling pods.
soybean field examination

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