High-input Systems and IPM practices Compared in Soybean Production

Full report is here >>> Field-level yield benefits and risk effects of intensive soybean management across the U.S.


  • Performance of high- and low-input soybean management systems across the
    U.S. were evaluated
  • High-input systems increased yield but effect was inconsistent (-4.9 to 12.7%
    of average yield) among states
  • High-input systems minimally reduced the average cost of yield risk (<3% of
    average yield)
  • High-input systems do not consistently protect soybean yield from downside
    yield risk compared to low-input systems

Overall results in this work show that when compared to low input application, intensifying soybean management is yield increasing without reducing downside yield loss risk. Additionally, the observed yield benefits indicate a negative return on investment which is consistent with previous studies (Orlowski et al., 2016; Quinn & Steinke, 2019). These results further support the use of integrated pest management (IPM) for making input decisions instead of relying on prophylactic input applications as insurance against yield-limiting factors. Such approach can be cost-effective
and environmentally friendly since inputs are applied when and where needed. We conclude that future studies of food security and crop production should be region-specific and focus on identifying management practices with the greatest yield potential based on IPM practices rather than recommending broad-scale intensive management systems as insurance practice.

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