Drs. Fred Below and Jason Haegele at the University of Illinois have reported on their “six secrets for soybean success” in 2012:

  1. Weather:   The most critical factor because it controls the outcome of all other components

  2. Soil Fertility:  Balanced fertility applications are a must – the crop’s nutritional needs must be met.  By fertilizing the soybean crop, yields were enhanced by 4.3 Bu/A.

  3. Variety Selection:  Factors that are important in selecting your varieties are:

  • Maturity grouping

  • Disease package

  • Traits

  • Genetics

With the correct variety selections, yields were increased by 3.2 Bu/A.

  1. Foliar Protection:  Fungicide and insecticide are important in protecting the plant’s leaf canopy from damage.  Proper employment raised yields by 3.6 Bu/A.

  2. Seed Treatments:  Treated seed which offers protection to fungal pathogen, insects, and nematodes are producing a yield increase of 2.6 Bu/A.

  3. Row Spacing:  Row spacing less than 30 inches were necessary for maximum yields.  On average, row spacing less than 30 inches increased yields by 2.1 Bu/A in Illinois.

Their high yield efforts were 9.9 Bu/A better or $118.80/A ($12.00/Bu) gross profits better than their standard practices.