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Soybean maturity groups

Sexy por pics Soybean maturity groups.

Soybean plants respond to photoperiod — the day length. Soybeans have developed a sort of intelligence that lets them know if they have enough time to fill seed.

A chemical in the leaves called phytochrome responds to day length and sends a signal to the meristem on nodes, where the flowers appear. That starts the Soybean maturity groups process. Plant breeders have identified and selected varieties that are just a little different in how the phytochrome reacts to day length.

Soybean yield is a product of the number of days of seed fill and the rate of fill. The more leaves, the greater the fill. So as you go up the maturity scale, from a group 1 to 2 and 3 and so on, you further delay the signal to start Soybean maturity groups. Each whole number as you move up adds about 10 days.

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The significance of this is that as you move up the maturity groups, the plants have a bigger factory before flowering begins. That should maximize yields. Within certain Soybean maturity groups groups, we have a fair amount of leeway to get top yields.

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A few years ago, we did tests with three soybean varieties in maturity groups 1, 2, 3, and 4 and three planting dates of April, May, and June. Groups 3 and 4 yielded Soybean maturity groups identical and significantly better than groups 1 and 2.

The average yields were Again, the 3 and 4 groups were about the same. The group 6 soybeans suffered frost damage because they flowered too late. Our soybean variety testing program in Missouri also sheds some light on this.

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