TEST Breaking Apical Dominance in Soybean

Trial Overview

  • Stressing soybean plants during early growth (up to10;stage V4) using tactics such as herbicide treatments, mowing, or rolling can10;break apical dominance and encourage branching. 
  • Studies10;on the effectiveness of this strategy to increase yield potential have shown10;mixed results.1,2

Research Objective

10;Location 10;
10;Soil Type 10;
10;Previous Crop 10;
10;Tillage Type 10;
10;Planting Date 10;
10;Harvest Date 10;
10;Potential Yield 10;
10;Planting Rate 10;
Gothenburg, NE

10; Site Notes:10;

A total of six treatments were tested and include three10;common methods used to break apical dominance (herbicide applications of 12.510;oz/acre Cobra®, mowing, and rolling) at two different growth stages (V2 and V4).

Understanding the Results

Figure 1. Test Image Caption
  • Some10;of the treatments had higher yields than the control, but none were10;significantly different 10;(Figure 1). This indicates that, statistically, the treatments were unlikely to10;have any effect on yields.
  • Attempts10;to break apical dominance resulted in visually delayed soybean leaf senescence 10;(Figure 2).

What Does This Mean for Your Farm

  • Based10;on the results of this and other studies, breaking apical dominance in order to10;encourage branching likely has a limited ability to improve yield potential.
  • hese10;results could vary based on environmental conditions and management practices. For10;example, plant damage caused by mowing or rolling can increase the potential10;for pathogen invasion, especially in wet springs.  Significant yield differences could occur with10;earlier planting.