Project Details:

Evaluation of Growth-Promoting Products for Soybean Production in Maryland

Parent Project: This is the first year of this project.
Checkoff Organization:Maryland Soybean Board
Categories:Soybean diseases, Crop management systems
Organization Project Code:
Project Year:2019
Lead Principal Investigator:Andrew Kness (University of Maryland)
Co-Principal Investigators:

Contributing Organizations

Funding Institutions

Information and Results

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Project Summary

Soybean farmers have had many new products come on the market in recent years touted as growth-promoting products intended to help growers attain high-yielding soybeans. Many of these products contain growth regulators, hormones, humic acids, carbon, sugars, and/or fertilizer. Limited replicated research has been done with these products to assess their application and utility in Maryland’s unique climate and growing conditions. We propose to evaluate some of these products (such as Take Off ST, Take Off LS, Agri-sweet, and Monty’s Carbon) to assess their effect on soybean growth and yield, and to compare them to equivalent treatments of foliar fertilizer to determine if the product response (if any) is coming from the added fertilizer these products often contain.

Full-season commercial soybean variety with good yield potential representative of what’s typically grown in Maryland will be purchased for use in all trials across all site locations. Seed will be direct seeded into no-till corn residue on two site locations in Maryland. Fertility and crop management (weeds and insects) will be managed in accordance with extension guidelines. Stand counts will be conducted approximately two weeks after planting to assess emergence. Root mass ratings from seed treatment plots will also be collected during this time. Measurements will be analyzed and compared using statistical methods and used to determine if there are any treatment effects. Plots will be harvested with a small plot combine at maturity. Yields for each plot will be calculated and a statistical analysis will be done to compare treatment yields to determine if there is any treatment effect.

Project Objectives

1. Determine the yield impact (if any) of soybean growth-promoting products on full-season soybeans grown under standard management practices for various locations in Maryland.
2. Determine any growth-promoting effects of these treatments, such as: accelerated growth, greenness (NDVI), root mass, seedling vigor, and green stem.

Project Deliverables

Progress of Work

Updated July 2, 2019:
As of the submission of this progress report (7/2/19), both test plots have been established. The first location was seeded at the Western Maryland Research and Education Center in Keedysville, MD on May 17, 2019 into a no-till corn field. Field and growing conditions have been very good thus far for this location. Plots were seeded using a John Deere no-till drill set for 15-inch rows at a population of 150,000 seeds/acre using untreated and Take-Off treated seed (depending on treatment). Preplant treatments of Monty's Carbon were applied with a boom sprayer per the label instructions. Subsequent foliar treatments of Take-Off LS, Monty's K28, and Monty's Agri-Sweet will be applied as foliar sprays at R1; which should be approximately middle of July.

Treatments for both locations are as follows: 1) Untreated control; 2) Take-Off ST (seed treatment); 3) Untreated seed + Take-Off LS (liquid solution) @ R1; 4) Take-Off ST + Take-Off LS @ R1; 5) Take-Off ST + Monty's K28 @ R1; 6) Untreated seed + Monty's K28 @ R1; 7) Untreated seed + Monty's Carbon @ pre-plant; 8) Untreated seed + Monty's Carbon @ pre-plant + Agri-Sweet @ R1.

Stand counts were taken from the Keedysville plot on June 4, 2019. During this time, plants were dug and weighed to measure overall plant growth/vigor. Untreated seed was compared to Take-Off treated seed. No differences in overall plant weights were observed, therefore this data point was omitted. In the future we may consider a small greenhouse study to compare treated vs. Take-Off treated seed. This should eliminate field variability. NDVI (plant greenness) ratings were taken on 6/26/19 using a handheld GreenSeeker. Additional NDVI ratings will be taken after foliar treatments are applied and then again as plants reach physiological maturity.

The second trial location was established at the Wye Research and Education Center in Queenstown, MD on July 1, 2019. Planting and pre-plant treatments were applied same as the Keedysville trial. Frequent rains and poor field conditions at the Wye location delayed planting into July. Stand counts will be assessed within the next few weeks. Foliar treatments will be applied at R1 and NDVI data recorded same as described above.

Harvest data will be collected at maturity using a small plot combine at both locations. Statistical analysis will be completed after all data is collected.

Final Project Results

Updated February 6, 2020:

View uploaded report PDF file

Benefit to Soybean Farmers

Performance Metrics

Project Years