Search research reports:
Determining Impact of Lower Soybean Plant Populations on Other Practices within the Soybean Production System
Department of Plant and Soil Sciences
$28 to $32/acre, depending on soybean seed size and seeding rate. If additional data supports the initial findings, then farmers could save a significant amount of money. The purpose of this project is to determine if lower soybean populations can produce high yields while reducing input costs.
2010 Project Description
Research at three no-till sites with two soybean cultivars at different seeding rates indicated that final populations near 247,000 plants per hectare were sufficient for optimum yield. These results are consistent with most years, except for 2009, where more plants were needed for optimum yield. The problem in 2010, as in 2009, was variability of emergence. Final plant density was as low as 50% of seeding rate at one location and there does not appear to be a good explanation for the poor emergence. Until we better understand the poor germination/emergence/seedling survival, we cannot provide adequate guidelines for seeding rates.
For now, we are telling producers that 247,000 plants per hectare are sufficient for yield, but they (the producers) must do their best to estimate how many seeds are needed to reach that plant density. Our major whole in the research and subsequent recommendation, is predicting final stand from the initial seeding rate.