The right combination of soil, weather, and management techniques are needed to reach the 100 bushel per acre genetic yield potential of soybean. Even though growers can't control the weather, they can improve soybean yields by having a good understanding of how a soybean plant grows and using good crop management techniques. Soybean Growth and Development, a new Iowa State University (ISU) Extension publication, is just the tool to help producers improve soybean yields.
Palle Pedersen, Iowa State University Extension soybean agronomist, authored the new publication, which is built upon an earlier Iowa State University
Extension publication, How a Soybean Plant Develops. The new book includes new photos of soybean growth and reproductive stages and updated information about soybean plant growth and management.
"Over the last couple of years, we've seen how important it is to understand soybean growth and development. New pests and pathogens in our soybean fields make this crucial to maximize productivity," said Pedersen.
The 28-page book is designed to help soybean producers more fully understand how the soybean plant develops and provide common terminology when discussing soybean growth and development. The content is therefore both basic and applied. The basic information explains soybean growth and development through one life cycle of a maturity group II variety in Iowa. In addition, management guides pinpoint practices that provide optimum plant growth and production at different growth stages.
"Anyone who grows soybeans or advises those who do, should be interested in this publication," said Garren Benson, Iowa State University professor emeritus and one of the authors of the previous publication. "This is not a 'quick how to do' piece, it is a reference publication that will increase a person's knowledge of soybean growth and development."
The publication costs $4. It can be ordered by contacting any Iowa State University Extension county office, ordered online  or by calling (515) 294-5247.
This article originally appeared on page 95 of the IC-492(16) -- July 19, 2004 issue.