Soybean Flowering Fallacy

Shawn P. Conley, Extension Soybean and Small Grains Agronomist, University of Wisconsin-Madison

In a bean pod…

  • There is an old rule-of-thumb that soybean does not flower until after the summer solstice — the longest day of the year occurring on June 21st in the Northern Hemisphere — yet many of us have seen soybean flower much earlier.
  • Early planted soybean experience shorter days before June 21st, so floral induction and the subsequent appearance of flowers may occur ahead of the summer solstice.
  • Soybean management decisions depend on proper identification of reproductive stage R1 (1st flower), which means relying on scouting to observe flowers, not calendar date.

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