High-yield soybean contest winners have produced yields topping 150 bu./acre. According to researchers, these results show that commercial production is far from reaching the yield potential of modern soybeans.The current national average for soybean production is 48 bu./acre, significantly less than the yields achieved by contest winners.
"Some of the techniques used by high yield contest winners may have scientific merit and warrant further investigation," says Angela McClure, corn and soybean specialist with University of Tennessee Extension, "including skip or twin-rows to support larger planting densities and increase light penetration to lower pod sites."
McClure is part of a multi-year study supported by the United Soybean Board that is assessing the effects of high yield contest techniques, and the feasibility of adapting them in a production environment. In addition to row spacing, the study is looking at seeding rate, apical dominance treatment and nitrogen treatment. The work is taking place at the AgResearch and Education Center at Milan, as well as multiple on-farm tests.
"We're hoping this study will provide clues on how we might boost yields in a production environment and still be economical," says McClure.
McClure, along with Kacey Cannon, graduate research associate with the University of Tennessee Department of Plant Sciences, will present results from the first two-years of the study at the Milan No-Till Field Day on Thursday, July 28, 2016. The field day takes place at the AgResearch and Education Center at Milan. McClure's presentation is titled "Pursuing High Yield Soybeans," and can be found on Tour C - No-Till Soybeans. Complete program information is available at milan.tennessee.edu.
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