The vast majority of soybean yield gains achieved by producers over the last 30 years have come from new varieties developed through plant breeding. Soybean growers are seeking agronomic solutions to further increase soybean yields. The soybean plant has incredible yield potential which has been shown to be in excess of 100 bu/ac. A typical soybean plant produces many more flowers (Figure 1.) and pods during the growing season than are taken to yield. About 60 to 75 percent of all soybean flowers produced end up aborting, never contributing to yield. About half this abortion occurs before the flowers develop into young pods while the other half is due to pod abortion. The reason why such a large percentage of flowers and pods are aborted is not well understood. Various strategies have been suggested that could help the plant retain more pods, including increasing stress, reducing stress, stem cutting, growth hormones, and biostimulants. This project assessed various management strategies that were intended to increase the plants ability to set and retain additional pods during the reproductive growth stages, with the aim of increasing crop yields.

Read the entire report here: Evaluating Soybean Pod Set and Retention Strategies