Soybean Management for Increased Yield

Whigham, Keith
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Soybeans have become an extremely important feed, food and industrial crop in the world and the number two crop of importance in Iowa. World production during 1996 has the US as the largest soybean producer with 48%, followed by Brazil (20% ), China ( 10% ), Argentina ( 10% ), and Paraguay (2%). The remaining 10% come from many other countries. The Midwest dominates production within the US where seven states produced 71% of the 1996 soybean crop. Iowa was the leading US producer with 17.5% (416 million Bu.) of the total production, followed by Illinois (16.7%), Minnesota (9.4%), Indiana (8.5%), Ohio (6.6%), Missouri (6.3%), and Nebraska (5 .6%). The 1997 soybean production estimates have Iowa and Illinois as the Number I and 2 leading states again. In Iowa, the average yield per acre for 1997 is estimated to be above the 1996 state average (44 Bu/A), but less than the record yield produced in 1994 (50.5 Bu/A). Weather variability across the state resulted in a wide range of reported yields this harvest season. Some producers were pleased with their yields and others were disappointed. The total soybean production will likely be high this year because of the increased acreage planted in 1997 compared to recent years. Higher yields and more acres harvested will contribute to the nationwide record production, which is estimated to be more than 2.7 billion bushels. The Iowa Soybean Promotion Board supported the following soybean management research with funds from the soybean checkoff program. The author is grateful for this continued research support.