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E4 Crop Intelligence Reveals Initial Results of Soybean Population Study

Woodbine, IA (November 27, 2019) – At the beginning of spring, the E4 Crop Intelligence team set out to conduct a soybean population study for the 2019 growing season. This study evaluates soybean yields from what has been a year of extreme weather for most growers across the U.S. As harvest drew closer, the E4 team ventured out into their soybean test plots to begin assessing how well each population developed.

Experiment Framework

For this evaluation, planting prescriptions of 80,000, 100,000, 120,000, and 140,000 seeds per acre were established in E4’s test plots to evaluate different seeding rates. A minimum of eight rows of each population were planted. The first part of measuring the soybean populations was to obtain an average count of soybean pods and plant populations from each plot.

To get that average, the E4 experts use a 3’x 3’ wood-frame square to section off a portion of the soybeans and then proceed to count the number of plants and the total number of pods within the square. This process is repeated across the populations, with a minimum of two separate 3’x 3’ counts being conducted.

Preliminary Soybean R7 Growth Stage Results

The initial results were taken when the soybean plants were at the R7 stage. By this point, soybeans are beginning maturity. What the E4 team found was that emergence was somewhat low overall, with an estimated 2/3 emergence (67%) for all rows – regardless of population. It was determined that this could be due to low germ in the soybean seeds, or the wet conditions experienced during spring. However, it’s likely a combination of the two factors.

Another observation is that lower populations seem to have more pods (Figure 1.). This result may be attributed to the fact that lower populations enable the plants to branch out more, which in turn allows the plant to develop more auxiliary nodes.


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Seed Weight Needed To Determine Yield

Since both pod count and seed weight provide the full picture of actual yields, a summary of the study’s conclusions will not be determined until the soybeans are harvested. A full write-up of the populations’ performance will be released at a later date. Until then, stay tuned and best wishes for a safe and successful harvest!

E4 Crop Intelligence specializes in a wide range of crop services, seed prescription being one of many. The company offers growers an unbiased and localized seed placement consultation that best fits their field. With access to extensive industry resources, E4 can deliver reliable, field-by-field seed positioning prescriptions. For more information about E4, visit www.e4cropintelliengce.com.

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