Earlier harvest and drying of soybean seed within intact pods maintains seed quality

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2011-01-01
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Ennen, Ross
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Russell E. Mullen
Susana Goggi
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Agronomy

The Department of Agronomy seeks to teach the study of the farm-field, its crops, and its science and management. It originally consisted of three sub-departments to do this: Soils, Farm-Crops, and Agricultural Engineering (which became its own department in 1907). Today, the department teaches crop sciences and breeding, soil sciences, meteorology, agroecology, and biotechnology.

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The Department of Agronomy was formed in 1902. From 1917 to 1935 it was known as the Department of Farm Crops and Soils.

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1902–present

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  • Department of Farm Crops and Soils (1917–1935)

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Soybean [Glycine max (L.) Merr.] seed quality (viability and vigor) is critical to seed producers, emphasizing the need to maximize the quality of the harvested seeds. Currently, soybean seeds are harvested at a moisture content of ≤ 160 g kg-1, similar to the moisture content of harvested soybean grain. However, soybean seed quality peaks at physiological maturity (PM). Allowing soybean seeds to desiccate in the field increases vulnerability to seed deterioration, disease, and harvest losses. Early harvest of soybean seeds and drying within intact pods might maintain seed quality. Our research examined the effect of maturity stage (green-, yellow-, or brown-pod), drying temperature (27°C ± 2, 31°C ± 2, or 41°C ± 2), and pod integrity (pod intact or removed) on soybean seed quality. Seeds were harvested in 2009 and 2010 and dried within stacked tray driers. Drying podded, yellow-pod maturity seeds at ambient temperature (27°C ± 2) protected seeds from rapid desiccation and seeds exhibited similar seed quality characteristics as those harvested at brown-pod maturity stage. A drying temperature of 41°C ± 2 greatly reduced seed quality at both levels of pod integrity for immature harvested seeds (green-pod). Harvesting soybeans at the yellow-pod stage has the greatest potential for early harvest while maintaining seed quality. Pod integrity did not affect seed quality of brown-pod harvested seeds at any of the drying temperatures.

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Sat Jan 01 00:00:00 UTC 2011