Fred Below, professor of crop physiology, University of Illinois, and A.J. Woodyard, technical crop production specialist, BASF, shared their latest data about how farmers can nearly double their soybean yields with a comprehensive pest-management plan during an educational session, “Six Secrets of Soybeans Revealed,” at Commodity Classic.

While both Below and BASF conducted research independent of each other, their results were very similar: Growers can maximize yields by using a comprehensive agronomic management program featuring a combination of herbicides, fungicides and insecticides.

“Comprehensive pest-management solutions are delivering exponential yield improvements and dramatically changing the odds in favor of farmers,” says Woodyard.

Woodyard highlighted studies that consisted of a combination treatment of BASF herbicides and fungicides in corn, and BASF herbicides, fungicides and insecticides in soybeans, and compared their effectiveness to a glyphosate-based control program. Results revealed soybean yields increased by an average of 6.0 bu./acre over the glyphosate-only program.1

According to Below, the current average soybean yield in the U.S. is roughly 42 bu./acre, and has been hovering around that figure for the past few years.

“While it may seem daunting, the quest for 85.0 bu./acre isn’t a stretch. Yields of this nature are produced each year in state contests, so we know it can be done,” Below says. “The trick is figuring out how to consistently produce these yield levels, and our research has identified six strategies to help accomplish this task.”