What is in this article?:
- Variety selection, fertility, seed treatments drive soybean yield
- Fertility and micronutrients
- Seed treatment and spray applications
These common strategies characterized the nine top finalists of the 2012 Wisconsin soybean yield competition:
- The mean planting date was May 12
- The mean seeding rate was 156,000 per acre
- 100% rotated following corn
- 89% used fungicide and insecticide seed treatments
- 67% used seed-applied inoculants
- 67% had row spacing of less than 30 inches
Seed treatment and spray applications
Multiple sprays also led to success for Arkansas early season soybean yield winner Martin Henry from Dumas. He had a seeding rate of 139,000 in an irrigated field and achieved a 94.9 per-bushel yield. Henry used a seed treatment, preplant and postemergent herbicide applications and two insecticide and fungicide applications in his 30-inch rows.
"The first thing you need to do is pick the right seed for your soil," says the corn, soybean and rice producer. "We used 100 lbs. per acre of urea on the soybeans as well, and decided to try two insecticide and fungicide applications instead of one as in the past.
"I doubled up on both to battle stink bugs and disease, which this year was frogeye leaf spot," Henry continues. "You also improve the quality of your crop with fungicide. My soybeans looked healthier and stayed green longer, which allowed me to delay harvest and pick up more bushels. We gained 8-10 bushels per acre with this strategy, which more than justified the cost. You have to keep an eye out for fungicide resistance, but we are trying three applications next."