Project Details:

Increasing Soybean Yield by Enhancing Seed Fill

Parent Project: Increasing Soybean Yield by Enhancing Seed Fill
Checkoff Organization:Indiana Soybean Alliance
Categories:Crop management systems
Organization Project Code:
Project Year:2017
Lead Principal Investigator:Shaun Casteel (Purdue University)
Co-Principal Investigators:
Keywords: crop management

Contributing Organizations

Funding Institutions

Information and Results

Comprehensive project details are posted online for three-years only, and final reports indefinitely. For more information on this project please contact this state soybean organization.

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Final Project Results

Updated February 22, 2019:
refer to final results

The greatest yield response in the MG II study was in the combination of enhanced fertility (sulfur and phosphorus) plus the prophylactic application of fungicide and insecticide (i.e., TSP+AMS+R4) across the two years of the study. The effective seed filling period (EFP) was the main driver in 2016 since the seed growth rates were comparable across management treatments and the EFP was 5 d longer for TSP+AMS+R4. Seed size was also marginally higher in the same treatment. In 2017, the EFP also drove the improvements in grain yield (and marginally seed size). In the MG III study, the greatest yield effect in 2016 was TSP+AMS+R4. However, the source of yield improvement seems to be more related seed growth rate (SGR) than the duration of the effective seed filling period. Little differences were noted in 2017, since SGR and EFP were similar across the 3 intensely sampled management treatments. Thus, no major yield improvements were noted. Management can improve the seed fill period of soybean. Preliminary conclusions are that the combination of enhanced fertility (sulfur and phosphorus) and foliar protection provided greater benefit to the shorter season varieties than the fuller season varieties. In other words, the management extended the critical seed filling window of the shorter season varieties to utilize more of the season (e.g., sunlight, heat units). Whereas, the fuller season varieties are already utilizing the growing season that they are adapted to grow in. The yield improvement target for full season varieties would be to increase the rate of seed fill. Further investigation into the interactions of maturity group, sulfur supply (and potentially phosphorus), planting date, and foliar protection will help to decipher the instances of increasing in seed fill rate vs. extending seed fill window, and ultimately, yield.

Project Years