For high yield – DuPont Pioneer agronomists advise growers to manage their soybeans intensively. According to Agronomy Research Manager Mark Jeschke – the biggest challenge to high soybean yields is changing the mindset about managing the soybean crop. He says soybeans get less attention during the growing season for legitimate reasons – but researchers want growers to know the reward will be there for intensive soybean management. Stand establishment is the first step in managing for high yield. Jeschke says earlier planting and higher levels of crop residue mean growers often drop the plant into colder, wetter soils and thus the potential for seedling diseases increases. He says seed treatments protect seed planted into challenging conditions. Jeschke notes fungicide seed treatments offer multiple modes of action that protect against a broad spectrum of early season diseases.
Adding an insecticide to seed treatments helps control pests before their feeding can provide an entry port for disease. Jeschke says soybean growers can also gain an advantage with narrow rows. He says the results have been fairly consistent – growers generally see higher yields as soybean rows narrow. Other management tips include – planting as early as practical using full-season varieties for the grower’s geography; managing soil fertility; and practicing crop rotation. Finally – Jeschke recommends monitoring in-season weed, pest and disease problems – and managing accordingly.