Agronomy and Horticulture Department


Date of this Version



Matcham EG, Mourtzinis S, Conley SP, et al. Management strategies for early- and late-planted soybean in the north-central United States. Agronomy Journal. 2020;112:2928–2943.


This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs License. © 2020 The Authors.


It is widely recognized that planting soybean [Glycine max (L.) Merr.] early is critical to maximizing yield, but the influence of changing management factors when soybean planting is delayed is not well understood. The objectives of this research were to (a) identify management decisions that increase seed yield in either early- or late-planted soybean scenarios, and (b) estimate the maximum break-even price of each management factor identified to influence soybean seed yield in early- or late-planted soybean. Producer data on seed yield and management decisions were collected from 5682 fields planted with soybean during 2014−2016 and grouped into 10 technology extrapolation domains (TEDs) based on growing environment. A subsample of 1512 fields was classified into early- and late-planted categories using terciles. Conditional inference trees were created for each TED to evaluate the effect of management decisions within the two planting date timeframes on seed yield. Management strategies that maximized yield and associated maximum break-even prices varied across TEDs and planting date. For early-planted fields, higher yields were associated with artificial drainage, insecticide seed treatment, and lower seeding rates. For late-planted fields, herbicide application timing and tillage intensity were related to higher yields. There was no individual management decision that consistently increased seed yield across all TEDs.