c- HUME LIBRARY
I J, Nj',
The soybean is a relatively new crop for Florida. The potential
production has seemed so promising and the need for such a crop
in Florida is so great that it was decided to pool the present
knowledge about growing, handling, marketing, and feeding of
soybeans into a single comprehensive bulletin. It is hoped that
such a publication will stimulate increased interest in this crop.
Florida's acute need for an economical high protein source in
animal rations, the suitability of soybeans in a small grain
rotation, the development of adapted varieties, Florida's com-
petitive production ability, the deficiency of protein sources in
the underdeveloped countries of the world, and the ready market,
both internally and for exporting-all point to bright prospects
for future enlargement of our acreage of this crop.
In an effort to provide interested prospective growers,
processors, and feeders with the results of our somewhat limited
research program on soybeans we offer this bulletin.
Expansion will depend on our industry and ability to properly
exploit our present knowledge. This publication is the work of
many people, each knowledgeable in certain aspects of the whole
problem. We will, of course, continue and increase our research
programs with soybeans as funds and facilities permit; however,
we offer now our immediate knowledge about this crop so that
all who are interested may use it to full advantage.
JOHN W. SITES
Foreword-John W. Sites .. 3
I. History and Present Status of Production-Kuell Hinson 5
II. Economics and Marketing-W. K. McPherson 13
III. Soils and Soil Management-W. K. Robertson, C. E. Hutton,
L. G. Thompson, R. W. Lipscomb, and H. W. Lundy 34
IV. Varieties-Kuell Hinson and R. L. Smith .47
V. Culture-R. L. Smith and Kuell Hinson 57
VI. Pest Control
1. Insects and Their Control-L. C. Kuitert ..... 72
2. Nematodes and Their Control-V. G. Perry .87
VII. Area recommendations
1. West Florida-C. E. Hutton ... 92
2. Northcentral Florida-H. W. Lundy .. 97
3. Organic Soils-W. T. Scudder .... 102
VIII. Feeding Soybeans and Soybean Products
1. Introduction-T. J. Cunha .....108
2. Beef Cattle-F. S. Baker, Jr. and T. J. Cunha ... 109
3. Dairy Cattle- J. M. Wing .................... 112
4. Swine-G. E. Combs ...... .... .. 116
5. Poultry-R. H. Harms ............ 119
History and Present Status of Production
Soybeans are native to eastern Asia and were extensively cul-
tivated and highly valued as a food in China by the time written
records began. The first written record of the plant is contained
in books by Emperor Sheng-Nung, written in 2838 B.C., describ-
ing the plants of China. Soybeans were first mentioned in United
States literature in 1804; however, they did not become an im-
portant cultivated crop in the country until more than a century
Soybeans were grown in experimental plots in Florida as ear!y-
as 1925 and were occasionally grown by farmers before 194i
However, they were not an established crop in any area of the
state until the late 1940's. Florida production more than doubled
from 1960 to 1965 and is expected to continue its rapid expan-
sion. In order to provide potential growers with broad, general
information on this relatively new crop for the state, recent n;-
tional and international production trends are reviewed briefly.
This is followed by a history of production in Florida and a
discussion of factors that have governed production trends in
the state. An economic analysis of factors governing national
and international trends is contained in a separate section en-
titled "Economics and Marketing."
National and International Production
In 1964, the United States produced 64% of the total world
soybean supply, and Mainland China produced 29%. Only sever
other countries produced as much as 0.1% of the total supply,
and together they accounted for only 4%. The United States and
Mainland China have produced about 90% of the total world
supply for the past 30 years; however, production in the United
States increased from 12% of the total in 1935-39 to 63% in
1960-64. During the same period, production in Mainland China
decreased from 77 to 29% of the total. Actual production in
China decreased only 14% ; whereas, production in the United
States increased 11.8 times.
World War II, which cut off the supply of oilseeds from the
Far East, helped cause U. S. production to increase almost four-
fold from the prewar years 1935-39 to the postwar years 1945-49.
1Associate Agronomist, Florida Agricultural Experiment Station, Gainos-
ville, and Geneticist, Crops Research Division, Agricultural Research Ser-
vice, U. S. Department of Agriculture.
Since 1949, the acreage has almost tripled, and production and
value of the crop have each increased about four-fold. The soy-
bean crop became number 6 in value, ahead of potatoes, in 1950;
number 5, ahead of oats, in 1956; number 4, ahead of tobacco, in
1960; and number 3, ahead of wheat, in 1964. In 1965 it was ex-
ceeded in value only by corn and cotton.
Production increases have been orderly, and surpluses have
not accumulated because prices have permitted rapid movement
in world markets. About 95% of the soybeans and soybean
products entering world markets are produced in this country.
Further rapid expansion in production is expected. The Oil-
seed, Peanut, and Sugar Crops Research Advisory Committee,
which met in January 1965, predicted that the demand for soy-
beans would increase another 50% in the next 5 years (cited
from reference 2). Much of the increased demand is expected
to be in foreign markets. Therefore, prices should not be ex-
pected to increase r ove their present level, if soybeans
and soybean produ .-o readily in world markets.
However, with the in demand, there
seems to be little reasc .mstantially lower prices, acre-
age controls, or marketing quotas in the near future.
Soybean growing areas of the U. S. have expanded production
at different rates, by time periods, since production started about
60 years ago. During the first part of the century, most of the
soybeans were grown in the southern and eastern states. Begin-
ning about 1920, expansion in the northcentral states was more
rapid, and in 1949, 70% of the total U. S. acreage was in the five
states of Illinois, Iowa, Indiana, Ohio, and Missouri. From 1949
to 1964 the soybean acreage in these states rose from 8 to 18
million acres but declined from 70% of the U. S. total to 56%.
Acreage in the South increased 600% from 1949 to 1964, and
other areas of the country had substantial increases. One of the
more dramatic increases in production occurred in the nearby
state of South Carolina. Harvested acres rose from 10,000 in
1945, to 189,000 in 1955, to nearly 900,000 acres in 1965.
Soybeans were first grown in the U. S. primarily for hay, but
were also preserved as silage, fed green, grazed, and plowed
under for soil improvement. The number of acres harvested for
seed reached as much as 25% of the total for the first time in
1929, and by 1940 it equaled the acreage harvested for hay.
Soybeans as a grain crop increased rapidly during World War II.
The largest increase occurred in 1942 in response to an appeal
from the government to meet wartime demands for oil and fats.
By 1947, 85% of the total acreage was harvested for grain. In
1964, 96.7% of the total acreage was harvested for grain; 1.7,
was harvested for hay; and 1.6% was grazed or plowed under.
Domestic soybeans were first processed in Elizabeth City,
North Carolina, in 1915. The processing industry expanded, with
production, to the northcentral states during the 1920's. By the
mid-1930's, markets for oil and meal had been developed, and the
industry was firmly established. Processing plants are now
located in all areas that have enough concentrated production.
The fact that soybeans for grain grew from a newly established
industry in the mid-1930's to the third most valuable crop in
1964 again illustrates the extraordinary growth of the soybean
crop in this country.
Because of the increased emphasis on oil during and after
World War II, soybeans became known as an oilseed crop rather
than a forage crop. Although still classed as an oilseed crop,
they may also be described as a protein crop. Each bushel of
soybeans processed, during the 10-year p4 -d 1954-63, produced
an average of 10.9 pounds of oil which : 'for $1.13 and 47.8
pounds of meal which sold for $1.42. T "l-elative value of the
protein increased steadily during this period, and in 1963 the
meal from each bushel of soybeans sold for $1.74; whereas, the
oil sold for only $0.93. About 90% of the oil is used for human
consumption, mostly as margarine, salad oils, and shortening.
Almost all of the meal is used for livestock feed.
Soybeans are becoming increasingly important as an export
crop. Each year since 1963 soybean exports have returned more
dollars to the U. S. than exports of any other agricultural com-
modity. Twenty-six percent of the 1965-66 marketing year
supply is expected to be exported as whole beans. In addition,
26% of the oil produced from crushing and 19% of the meal is
expected to be exported. Most of the soybeans now produced in
Florida are exported, because they are closer to export terminals
than to oil mills.
Soybeans were evaluated as a potential forage crop for Florida
from 1925 through 1938. Forage production was generally satis-
factory, but seed production, to meet local demands for forage
plantings, was not dependable. It is now recognized that insects
drastically reduce seed production and that planting date, soil
pH, and fertility level are also very important in seed production.
However, of equal or perhaps greater importance are the varie-
ties grown. Those available for production from 1925 through
1938 are still poor seed producers, even when insects are con-
trolled and good management practices are followed.
Florida soybean producers have followed the national trend
of growing the crop almost exclusively for its seeds; however,
soybeans have also been grown for silage in recent years. Table
1 gives production data for the state from 1949, the first year
that soybeans were included in crop reporting statistics, through
1965. The difference between the planted and harvested acreage
includes losses from stand failures and abandoned fields. It is
many times greater than the acreage used for forage.
The history of production is very closely associated with the
availability of adapted varieties. A significant amount of produc-
tion in Florida occurred only after the Ogden variety became
available. Most of the 8,000 acres grown in 1949 were Ogden
soybeans concentrated in west Florida. Because Ogden is near
the southern limit of its adaptation in northern Florida, there
was no rapid increase in production until Jackson was released
in 1953. Production doubled in 1954 but soon leveled off and
actually suffered a slight decline in 1959 and 1960. Available
Varieties were not well adapted to many areas where soybeans
were planted, and farmers in these areas discontinued produc-
tion. Jackson proved to be well adapted to northwest Florida
and soon occupied as much as 70% of the total state acreage.
Interest in soybean production spread throughout much of
the state during the 1950's. Jackson was planted by several
farmers in northcentral Florida, but yields were often low and
Table 1.-Soybean production by years in Florida.
Acres Acres Harv. Total Av. Yield Av. Yield
Year Planted for Beans Production per Acre per Acre
(1000) (1000) (1000 bu.) (bu.) (bu.)
1949 8 6 120 20.0 22.3
1950 9 7 133 19.0 21.7
1951 10 8 144 18.9 20.8
1952 14 12 240 20.0 20.7
1953 17 14 252 18.0 18.2
1954 35 29 348 12.0 20.0
1955 40 36 792 22.0 20.1
1956 40 34 748 22.0 21.8
1957 50 45 1035 23.0 23.2
1958 48 46 1159 25.0 24.2
1959 37 32 768 24.0 23.5
1960 35 30 780 26.0 23.5
1961 42 36 936 26.0 25.2
1962 44 39 975 25.0 24.2
1963 51 45 1125 25.0 24.5
1964 66 62 1612 26.0 22.8
1965 76 74 1924 26.0 24.6
shattering occurred when it matured under drought stress.
Some older varieties, notably CNS and selections from it, were
also planted in northcentral Florida, but yields were usually
lower than those for Jackson.
About 1100 acres of CNS-4 soybeans were planted on saw-
grass-derived organic soil bordering Lake Apopka in 1955. Sat-
isfactory yields were obtained, but harvesting difficulty was
encountered because of weeds. Further efforts at soybean pro-
duction on organic soils before 1961 met with limited success.
Practical methods of chemical weed control were known by 1958,
but insects, always potentially destructive on organic soils, were
not satisfactorily controlled until 1961. In 1961 and all sub-
sequent years, weeds and insects were controlled economically.
Also, the Lee variety was found to be superior to CNS-4 on
During the late 1950's the Improved Pelican variety was
grown in Dade County following winter tomatoes. Production
reached a peak of about 15,000 acres, with average yields of
about 30 bushels per acre. Winter tomatoes following Improved
Pelican soybeans appeared to have more rootknot than they had
following velvetbeans. For this reason, and possibly others, soy-
bean production in Dade County was discontinued. The high
degree of susceptibility of Improved Pelican to rootknot nema-
todes was confirmed in experimental plots at Gainesville. Under
conditions of moderately heavy infestation, Improved Pelican
had large rootknot galls and yielded 12 bushels per acre; where-
as the breeding line that later became Hardee had no rootknot
galls and yielded 36 bushels per acre. Hardee is adapted to Dade
County and probably is resistant enough to rootknot nematodes
to cause no rootknot problem on soybeans or on the succeeding
Production was largely concentrated in west Florida through
the early 1960's. The present trend is for it to again move east
and south in the state (Table 2). It does so with more assurance
of success than it had a decade ago, because new varieties are
better adapted and increased use of lime and fertilizer has made
the soil better suited to the crop. New varieties are adapted
throughout the state; however, they must be carefully chosen for
each production area, and recommended production practices
must be followed closely to prevent disappointing results.
Soybeans fit well into Florida's cropping systems. They were
first grown in northwest Florida following potatoes. As the
potato acreage declined, they were grown after winter wheat. A
Table 2.-Soybeans harvested by counties in Florida, 1960-65.
1960 1961 1962 1963 1964 1965
Acres bu/A Acres bu/A Acres bu/A Acres bu/A Acres bu/A Acres bu/A
16,000 26.5 18,000 26.0 20,000 25.0 22,600 25.0 24,500 26.0 27,000 27.0
6,800 28.0 8,000 28.0 9,000 26.0 10,000 27.0 15,000 26.5 19,000 26.0
2,400 25.0 3,800 28.0 4,100 26.0 5,000 25.0 11,500 27.0 13,500 27.0
300 19.0 500 25.0 400 22.0 800 21.0 2,000 25.0 2,500 25.0
300 17.0 300 25.0 200 22.0 200 22.0 400 23.0 400 22.0
500 24.0 800 24.0
200 25.0 2,000 23.0 2,200 24.0 2,500 23.0 1,500 25.0 1,900 26.0
100 25.0 200 25.0
2,700 23.0 3,000 21.0 2,900 22.0 3,500 22.0 6,000 24.0 6,500 22.0
100 21.0 *
1,300 21.3 400 21.5 200 23.0 300 24.0 500 23.6 700 23.0
30,000 26.0 36,000 26.0 39,000 25.0 45,000 25.0 62,000 26.0 74,000 26.0
t Counties are listed in order from west to east and north to south.
* Included in "other counties" if any reported.
common practice in west Florida at the present time is to
produce wheat and soybeans on the same field each year for
several succeeding years. A similar procedure is possible if small
grains are grazed, or if any spring crop is removed in time to
prepare the land for a June planting. Soybeans were grown
after winter tomatoes in Dade County, and their potential for
the organic soils of central Florida is after spring vegetable
crops. They may even follow watermelons on soils that are
suited to both watermelons and soybeans. An important place
for soybeans in Florida is in following heavily-fertilized winter
or spring crops. They utilize residual fertilizer very efficiently,
and in such a rotation usually require no additional fertilizer.
Because the plant is a legume, nitrogen is obtained through
nodule activity on the roots, and no fertilizer nitrogen is re-
Soybeans also fit well into rotations with corn and other field
crops. They are planted late; therefore, land can be prepared
for planting during slack periods after spring crops are planted.
They have a low labor requirement and may require no addi-
tional investment for equipment. They are usually planted and
cultivated with the same equipment used for planting and cul-
tivating corn, and they are harvested with combines. They are
planted, cultivated, and harvested when there is usually little de-
mand for labor and equipment for other farm operations. They
make their growth during the season when soil moisture is most
plentiful, and mature when weather conditions ordinarily are
favorable for harvesting.
During the years 1959-63, Florida produced an average of
only 0.146% of the total U. S. production. Almost seven times
the total Florida production would have been required to increase
U. S. production 1%. An increase in the national average yield
of about 1/4 bushels per acre would have caused an equal increase
in total production. Therefore, soybeans can make a substantial
contribution to the agricultural economy of the state without
altering the total soybean economy.
1. Burtis, E. L. 1950. World soybean production and trade, p. 61-108. In
Klare S. Markley. Soybeans and Soybean Products, Vol. 1. Interscience
Publishers, New York, London.
2. Kromer, George W. 1965. Trends in U. S. soybean acreage and produc-
tion, p. 27-35. In Economic Research Service, U. S. Department of
Agriculture. Fats and Oils Situation, March 1965.
3. Morse, W. J. 1950. History of soybean production, p. 3-59. In Klare S.
Markley. Soybeans and Soybean Products, Vol. 1. Interscience Pub-
lishers, New York, London.
4. U. S. Department of Agriculture. Economic Research Service. 1965.
Fats and Oils Situation, November 1965.
Economics and Marketing
W. K. McPherson 1
The incentive that stimulates farmers to produce soybeans is
the profit that can be made by satisfying the consumer demand
for the products that can be made from them. This chapter
contains some of the basic economic information producers
should have when they decide whether or not to produce soy-
beans, and if so, how to sell them at the highest possible price.
More specifically, demand, supply, prices, and markets are ex-
amined, after which a method is presented of estimating the
costs of and returns that can be expected from the production
of soybeans in Florida.
The Demand for Soybeans
As early as 2838 B. C., soybeans were being produced to supply
a demand for both medicine and food in Asia. As long as the
value of soybeans was primarily derived from their alleged medi-
cinal attributes and the use of the whole bean for food, the
demand increased very slowly. As late as 1900, most soybeans
were produced and used in Asia, and there was essentially no
commercial production in the United States.
After World War I, the world-wide demand for soybeans to be
used as a raw material in the production of soybean oil and meal
began to expand at an unprecedented rate. This increase in de-
mand was largely due to (a) the growth of the population, (b)
an increase in the per capital income that enabled people to satisfy
a larger portion of their wants, especially in the United States
and Western Europe, and (c) the information scientists de-
veloped regarding the uses that can be made of soybeans. In the
future, the population of the United States and the entire world
is expected to increase even more rapidly than in the past. Like-
wise, per capital income in the United States and the whole world
is expected to continue to rise in response to an increase in
productivity of the workers. In general, this indicates that the
demand for soybeans will continue to increase, perhaps even more
rapidly than it has in the past. However, the rate at which this
demand does increase will depend largely on the rate at which
the demand for soybean oil and meal increases.
1 Agricultural Economist, Florida Agricultural Experiment Station, Gaines-
The Demand for Soybean Oil
Throughout the world, the demand for all kinds of fats is ex-
pected to increase, primarily because the higher per capital in-
comes that are anticipated will enable more than half of the
population to improve their diets, which are now at or near
the subsistence level. Inasmuch as soybean oil constitutes a
significant portion of the world's supply of fats and many people
prefer vegetable fat and in some instances are willing to pay a
premium for it, the demand for soybeans throughout the world
should increase equally or even more rapidly than the demand
for all fats.
In the United States, the situation is somewhat different.
Since 1940, per capital consumption of fat has been relatively
constant; but the consumption of vegetable oils has increased
from 16.7 to 28.8 pounds per person, and the per capital consump-
tion of animal fats declined from 29.7 to 18.1 pounds (see Table
1). More specifically, the per capital consumption of margarine
increased from 2.4 to 9.3 and shortening from 9.0 to 13.3 pounds
per person. While this was happening, the per capital consump-
tion of butter declined from 17 to 6.9 pounds and lard from 12.4
to 6.9. In 1963, about 31% of the soybean oil produced in the
United States was used in the production of margarine, 26% in
shortening, and 34% in cooking and salad oils (see Table 2). Of
the nation's supply of all kinds of fats and oils, 41.9%c was in the
form of soybean oil in 1964. If consumers continue to increase
their use of vegetable and decrease their use of animal fats, the
demand for soybean oil in the United States will increase more
rapidly than would be anticipated on the basis of population and
The Demand for Soybean Meal
The demand for soybean meal has its origin in the value people
place on livestock products. At the present time, large quantities
of meal are used to supplement livestock rations because it is an
economical source of high quality proteins.
If soybean meal continues to be used in livestock rations in the
same proportion it is now, the demand can be expected to in-
crease. The rate at which this increase takes place will depend
partly upon whether the per capital consumption of livestock
products continues to increase in the United States and partly
upon whether the incomes of the people in the underdeveloped
countries increase enough to permit them to purchase livestock
products. However, current trends in animal nutrition suggest
that a significant portion of the amino acid requirements of
animals can be satisfied by feeding synthetic materials. At the
present time, urea is being used extensively in beef and dairy
cattle rations; and arginine, tryptophan, and methionine are used
in poultry rations as a partial substitute for oil seed cake. An
increase in the use of these and similar products can significantly
reduce the rate at which the demand for soybean meal increases.
On the other hand, recent studies of the consumer acceptance of
soybean products as a substitute for animal protein in the United
States suggest a substantial increase in the demand for soybean
meal for use in the production of human food in the future.
If and when the demand for cereal grain for human consump-
tion becomes large enough to raise the cost of feedstuffs to a
level that will restrict the quantity of livestock products pro-
duced, the demand for all vegetable oils and proteins that humans
can consume can be expected to increase. This situation now
exists in Asia, where per capital consumption of meat is very low,
and it is developing rapidly in other parts of the world. To
supply the growing demand for human food and the growing
demand for supplementary livestock fed in other parts of the
world, the quantity of soybeans exported from the United States
has been increasing steadily since World War II.
The Supply of Soybeans
The world's supply of soybeans was more than twice as large
in 1963 as the 1933-39 average (see Table 3). In Mainland China
and South Korea, production has been declining, but in the re-
mainder of the world, soybean production is either remaining
constant or increasing. The most significant change in the supply
of soybeans has taken place in the United States, where produc-
tion has increased from 56 to 701 million bushels from the
1933-39 period to 1963 more than 11-fold. United States
farmers now produce approximately two-thirds of the world's
supply of soybeans.
Three factors have enabled farmers in the United States to
increase the quantity of soybeans produced much more rapidly
than farmers of other countries. First, new varieties have made
it possible to produce beans over a much wider geographic area.
In some instances, these new varieties have resulted in some-
what higher per acre yields, but as yet there has been no dramat-
ic change in the yield of beans per acre comparable to the
increases in the yields of other crops, particularly corn and
wheat. Second, mechanized planting, cultivating, spraying, and
Table 1.-Food fats and oils: Per capital consumption, 1940-1963. *
Year Butter rine Total Lard t ening Total
lb. lb. lb. lb. lb. lb.
1940 17.0 2.0 19.4 14.4 9.0 23.4
1941 16.1 2.8 18.9 13.8 10.4 24.2
1942 15.9 2.8 18.7 12.8 9.4 22.2
1943 11.8 3.9 15.7 13.0 9.6 22.6
1944 11.9 3.9 15.8 12.3 8.9 21.2
1945 10.9 4.1 15.0 11.7 9.1 20.8
1946 10.5 3.9 14.4 11.8 10.2 22.0
1947 11.2 5.0 16.2 12.6 9.4 22.0
1948 10.0 6.1 16.1 12.7 9.7 22.4
1949 10.5 5.8 16.3 11.8 9.7 21.5
S 1950 10.7 6.1 16.8 12.6 11.0 23.6
1951 9.6 6.6 16.2 12.3 9.0 21.3
1952 8.6 7.9 16.5 11.8 10.2 22.0
1953 8.5 8.1 16.6 11.4 10.2 21.7
1954 8.9 8.5 17.4 10.2 11.8 22.0
1955 9.0 8.2 17.2 10.1 11.5 21.6
1956 8.7 8.2 16.9 9.8 10.9 20.7
1957 8.3 8.6 16.9 9.4 10.4 19.8
1958 8.3 9.0 17.3 9.6 11.3 20.9
1959 7.9 9.2 17.1 8.8 12.6 21.4
1960 7.5 9.4 16.9 7.6 12.6 20.2
1961 7.4 9.4 16.8 7.7 12.8 20.5
1962 7.3 9.3 16.6 7,2 13.4 20.6
1963 tt 6.9 9.3 16.2 6.4 13.3 19.8
*Civilian consumption only, beginning 1941. Detail may not add to total because of rounding.
t Excludes use in margarine, shortening, and nonfood products.
t Table spreads and cooking fats plus oil content of other edible fats and oils.
Source: U. S. Food Consumption Source of Data and Trends 1909-1963. Statistical Bulletin 634 ERS, USDA. Washington D.C.
Total Fat Content
Weight t Animal table Total
lb. lb. lb. lb.
50.2 29.7 16.7 46.4
51.2 28.9 18.7 47.6
48.5 28.2 16.7 44.9
45.0 24.4 17.1 41.5
43.9 23.5 17.4 40.9
42.0 21.9 17.2 39.1
42.8 21.2 18.8 40.0
45.1 23.5 18.5 42.0
45.7 22.4 20.2 42.6
45.7 22.1 20.4 42.5
49.1 21.9 24.0 45.9
45.2 22.2 19.9 42.1
47.3 21.3 22.8 44.1
47.2 20.9 23.2 44.1
48.8 19.7 25.8 45.5
49.2 20.9 25.0 45.9
48.5 21.4 23.8 45.2
47.6 20.2 24.2 44.4
48.7 20.1 25.2 45.3
49.6 20.0 26.2 46.2
48.5 18.5 26.7 45.2
48.4 19.4 25.7 45.1
48.8 18.7 27.0 45.7
49 q 18.1 28.8 46.9
Table 2.-Soybean oil: Utilization in the United States, year beginning October, 1947-63.
ning Short- % of Mar-
October ening Total garine
% of Edible % of
Total Oils Total
17 233 15
16 241 16
16 288 17
24 344 18
27 404 19
30 462 18
28 437 19
28 545 21
29 668 26
33 627 24
34 692 23
33 758 23
33 878 26
30 1,005 29
25 1,386 34
26 1,353 34
26 1,531 34
% of Disap-
* Factory consumption used for years in which reported factory consumption exceeds domestic disappearance.
Source: USDA Agricultural Statistics, 1964.
Table 3.-World soybean production*.
Country 1935-39 1945-49 1955-59 1963
Canada 207 1,491 6,187 5,002
U. S. 56,167 208,885 483,901 701,405
Mexico 39 11,025
Italy 1 74 18 9
Romania 367 NA
Yugoslavia 71 155 277 256
Other Europe (except
USSR) 1,065 455 51 25
USSR 5,805 6,467 10,400
Argentina 28 687
Brazil 4,600 11,025
Columbia 249 1,029
Paraguay 26 NA
Turkey 37 45
China (mainland) 358,960 306,723 344,000 287,000
Cambodia 438 NA
China (Taiwan) 151 297 1,248 2,025
Indonesia 9,731 9,736 13,893 16,535
Japan 12,338 7,178 16,449 11,681
Korea t 17,654 4,978 5,484 5,840
World total 463,720 551,290 894,330 1,068,530
USDA Agricultural Statistics, 1964
t South Korea only
harvesting equipment has reduced the amount of labor required
to produce a bushel of beans. Third, the amount of land available
for the production of soybeans has increased significantly. This
increase is attributable to (a) decline in the amount of land
required to feed horses and mules that were used to produce
agricultural products, (b) a decline in the number of acres re-
quired to produce corn, wheat, and cotton, and (c) the absence of
any restriction on the acreage planted or the volume of beans
marketed during a period in which the acreage of other crops
that could have been grown on the same land has been restricted.
Between the years 1949 and 1964, the soybean acreage har-
vested in the corn belt increased 9.6 million acres, or 123 %. Soy-
bean acreage increased 6 million acres in the South during the
same 15-year period, an increase of 600%. In Florida, the acre-
age increased at about the same rate as elsewhere in the South.
Although the absolute increase in soybean acreage in the corn
belt was larger, soybean production has been increasing more
rapidly in the South.
In the future, it is expected that soybean production will con-
tinue to increase in response to an increase in the demand for
soybean products. The extent to which domestic production will
expand in the Midwest, an area in which it has been clearly
demonstrated that soybeans can be produced profitably, will be
partially determined by the farm price of crops that can be grown
on the same land. The amount of other crops grown in the
Midwest that is held in government storage has been reduced
substantially in recent years. Within the foreseeable future, it
is possible that farmers will be permitted to increase the produc-
tion of these other crops for prices that will induce them to
reduce soybean production or at least not to expand it as rapidly
as they have been doing in the past. This could raise soybean
prices above current levels and thus make soybean production
more profitable on land not so well adapted to the production of
corn and wheat.
The price of soybeans is closely related to the price of soybean
oil and meal. From 10 to 11 pounds of oil and from 47!, to Il!
pounds of meal are produced from a bushel of beans (60 pounds).
The price above which soybeans cannot rise for any substantial
period of time can readily be estimated by (a) multiplying the
price of soybean oil per pound by 11, (b) multiplying the price
of soybean meal per pound by 48, and (c) adding the products of
the two multiplications. The spread between the value of the
product and the value of the beans is commonly referred to as
the processor's margin. For more than a decade, the processor's
margin has been declining (see Tables 4 and 5). Among other
things, this suggests that the new solvent extraction processing
plants may be more efficient than the older plants, many of
which still use the expeller process. The fact that some of the
newer plants can process more than 1,000 tons of soybeans daily
suggests that it would be necessary for Florida farmers to in-
crease production very appreciably to justify the erection of
plants in the state. In 1965, a plant processing 1,000 tons per day
would have used, in less than one month, all of the beans
produced in Florida in that year.
With the exception of two years, the average price of No. 2
yellow beans in Chicago has fluctuated between 2.13 and 2.98 per
bushel since 1944. Price supports were used to stimulate the
production of beans during the immediate post World War II
period and to maintain farm income in later years. On the other
Table 4.-Soybean prices compared with market value, soybean oil and soybean meal 44%, 1939-1962.
price at Value from
Midwestern bushel of
Year plants soybeans *
1939 5.0 .55
1940 7.0 .77
1941 11.2 1.23
1942 11.8 1.30
1943 11.8 1.30
1944 11.8 1.30
1945 11.9 1.31
t 1946 22.9 2.52
0 1947 23.8 2.62
1948 13.1 1.44
1949 12.3 1.35
1950 17.8 1.96
1951 11.3 1.24
1952 12.1 1.33
1953 13.5 1.49
1954 11.9 1.31
1955 12.5 1.38
1956 12.7 1.40
1957 10.8 1.19
1958 9.5 1.05
1959 8.3 .91
1960 11.3 1.24
1961 9.5 1.05
1962 8.9 .98
Value of Oil
and Meal from
Bushel of Soy-
* Assumes 11 pounds oil per bushel.
t Assumes 48 pounds 44% meal per bushel.
Source: USDA Agricultural Statistics, 1962-1964.
Value of Oil
Table 5.-Soybean prices compared with market value of soybean oil and soybean meal 44%.
Average Value from
price at bushel of
* Assumes 11 pounds oil per bushel.
t Assumes 48 pounds 44% meal per bushel.
Bulk price Value from
at bushel of
Decatur, soybeans -
Price No. 1
Value of Oil
hand, it has never been necessary to support bean prices by in-
voking acreage controls to restrict the volume of beans produced.
Since 1949, producers have placed from 3.9 to 24.2% of the
crop under loan during the harvest season, but the maximum
quantity of beans owned by the Commodity Credit Corporation
at the end of any production season was 2 million bushels, or less
than 1% of annual production, and this carry-over has exceeded
1 million bushels only four times.
The Market for Soybeans
The market for soybeans and soybean products is world-wide.
Through a well-developed system of international markets,
changes taking place in the supply of and demand for these com-
modities are promptly and accurately reflected in changes in the
international or world prices. The world price in turn plays an
important role in determining the price of soybeans and soybean
products in the domestic markets of the several nations that
produce and/or consume soybean products. Of these nations, the
United States is the largest producer, exporter, and consumer.
Consequently, the domestic market for these commodities is both
highly developed and, in many respects, is the dominant factor
of the world market.
There are two separate markets for soybeans, soybean meal,
and soybean oil: (a) a cash or "spot" market in which the com-
modities are delivered at the same time the terms of sale are
agreed upon, and (b) a "futures" market in which contracts to
deliver or accept delivery of specified amounts of the commodi-
ties at specific places and times are traded. The prices of the
same commodities in the cash and futures markets are highly
correlated after transportation and storage costs are taken into
account. This, coupled with the fact that there is a relatively
large number of potential buyers and sellers, means that transac-
tions can be quickly consummated in either market. These mar-
kets, in turn (a) provide producers with both a ready market for
soybeans and soybean products at any time, and a means of
avoiding the hazard of changing prices (hedging) ; (b) enable
speculators to assume the market risk without producing the
commodities; and (c) tend to stabilize the prices of soybeans and
soybean products and the relationship between them.
The Cash or "Spot" Market
Approximately 90% of the soybeans produced in the United
States are sold at country elevators and the remainder directly
to processors or terminals that assemble beans for export. Coun-
try elevators, in turn, sell beans to terminal warehouses, proces-
sors, or exporters.
In areas in which large quantities of soybeans are produced,
there is a sufficiently large number of country elevators and
processing plants to maintain an active cash market for beans.
Several firms bid against each other for the beans produced in
these areas, and farmers are primarily interested in finding out
which of them will pay the highest price.
On the other hand, where production is as widely scattered as
it is in Florida, there are few and sometimes no soybean buyers
in an area. Before planting beans in these areas, farmers should
determine whether or not there is a buyer for them, and if so,
how the price offered is related to regional and national prices.
In Northwest Florida, soybeans are purchased for export by
the large corporations that buy and sell soybeans in sufficiently
large quantities to engage in international trade. In most in-
stances, the beans purchased by these firms are exported through
Mobile or other Gulf ports.
Local dealers and/or brokers known to buy beans are:
Lapeyrouse Grain Corp., Milton, Florida
Kerr-McGee Oil Industries, Pensacola, Florida
Jay Feed and Supply, Jay, Florida
Walnut Hill Elevator, Walnut Hill, Florida
Mobile Milling Co., Blountstown, Florida
Atmore Mill and Elevator, Atmore, Alabama
O'Farell Grain Elevator, Atmore, Alabama
Valdosta Feed Mill, Valdosta, Georgia
Farmers Mutual Exchange, Valdosta, Georgia
The Cotton Producers Association, a cooperative with which
many local cooperatives in north and west Florida are associated,
buys beans at particular locations. Farmers contemplating the
production of soybeans should also consult their local elevators
and county agents for more detailed and complete information
regarding where beans may be sold and how the price paid
locally is related to the domestic and export prices, particularly
the export prices at the Gulf ports.
The prices paid for soybeans in Florida are closely related to
the price of beans at the ports through which beans are ex-
ported, i.e., New Orleans, Biloxi, Gulfport, and Mobile. If the
density of soybean production was as high in the areas adjacent
to these ports as it is in the Midwest, the prices farmers receive
would be substantially higher than they are. However, in Florida,
where the production density is low, the cost of assembling beans
is relatively high. For example, in 1964, the cost of trucking
beans from Calhoun and Liberty Counties to Mobile was 18 cents
per bushel, or approximately $6 per ton-a rate that was sub-
stantially higher than the rate for shipping grain from East
St. Louis to Jacksonville, Florida. In addition, dealers and eleva-
tor operators were charging 2 cents per bushel or 66 cents per
ton for handling the transaction and an additional 7 cents per
bushel or $2.23 per ton for co-mingling less-than-truck-load lots.
Thus, some of the beans produced in North Florida in 1964 were
sold for at least 27 cents below the Mobile price. Even then, the
average price Florida farmers received for beans that year was
approximately the same as the price received by Midwestern
farmers located several hundred miles further away from the
shipping point but where the production density was high.
If and when more soybeans are produced in the state and if
the increase in production takes place in a small enough area to
reduce the cost of assembly and of shipping beans, the spread
between the export price at Gulf ports and the price received by
farmers will probably be narrower.
Throughout the nation, the price of soybeans is relatively low
during the harvesting season and increases during the winter,
spring, and early summer months. This has encouraged some
producers to erect storage facilities on the farm, particularly in
the Midwest. In the southeastern United States and particularly
in Florida, this is more difficult because, to store beans success-
fully on the farm, the facilities must be designed to permit ade-
quate aeration, and the moisture content of the beans should not
exceed 11 when placed in storage. On a per-bushel basis, the
cost of storage decreases as the volume of beans increases.
Hence, the cost of storing beans is often prohibitive for the pro-
ducers of small quantities of beans, but farmers producing rela-
tively large quantities may sometimes make an investment in
storage facilities quite profitable. In some instances, producers
may prefer to trade in the futures market rather than to store
The Futures Market
The futures market provides buyers and sellers with a means
of trading contracts to deliver or accept delivery of those com-
modities that meet the specifications that all buyers and sellers
agree to, on specific dates and locations. These markets are or-
ganized and operated by commodity exchanges, i.e., the Chicago
Board of Trade and similar organizations. In the United States,
the commodity exchanges operate within a broad framework of
rules and regulations established by the Commodity Exchange
Administration, an agency of the Federal Government. Trading
on the exchanges is limited to members, who, in many instances,
are brokers who also trade for their clients. Brokers charge their
clients a nominal fee for trading and making a wide variety of
market reports and services available to them.
At the present time, contracts calling for the future delivery of
soybeans, soybean oil, and soybean meal are actively traded at
the Chicago market. Contracts for soybeans call for the delivery
of 5,000 bushels of beans during any one of the following months:
July, August, September, November, January, March, and May.
Traders are generally required to keel) at least S500 per contract
on deposit with their brokers to insure execution. When prices
fluctuate widely, larger deposits are sometimes called for.
Within any given crop year, the price of contracts calling for
delivery in specified months is closely related to the cash price
of a commodity, after the cost of storing and transporting the
commodity to a specified delivery point is taken into account. As
the expiration date of the contract approaches, the spread be-
tween the cash and futures price narrows and finally becomes
equal on the last day deliveries are accepted. This makes it
possible for farmers who do not want to assume price risk to
"hedge" their production any time before the crop is harvested
by (a) selling a futures contract calling for the delivery of a
commodity at some date after the crop has been harvested (per-
haps six months later), (b) selling the commodity in the cash
market as soon as it is harvested, and at the same time (c) buy-
ing the futures contract calling for the delivery of the same
amount that was sold when the "hedge" was initiated.
In contrast to hedging, those who expect the price of a com-
modity traded on a futures exchange to rise (a) simply buy a
contract calling for delivery at some date in the future (b) wait
until the price rises, and (c) sell it. However, if the price falls
rather than rises, they are still obligated to sell it at a lower
price or take delivery of the commodity itself. On the other hand,
speculators who expect the price to fall, contract to deliver the
contract at a later date, hoping they can purchase it at a lower
price before the contract expires.
Rather than invest in storage facilities and assume the risks
of quality deterioration in order to obtain the higher prices that
often prevail in the late winter, spring, and summer months,
farmers can sell soybeans at harvest time and buy contracts
calling for the delivery of beans later in the 12-month period in
which the crop is sold. Since there is a ready market for futures
contracts, the holder is free to sell them at any time prior to the
delivery date. If the price of beans at the time the contract is
sold is higher than the price at the time it was purchased, the
farmers earns a profit. However, if the price of beans falls,
the farmer loses on the transaction. In other words, owning
a commodity after harvest is a speculative venture regardless
of whether the commodity is stored on the farm or the owner has
executed a futures contract, i.e., a contract to deliver at a later
The cash and futures prices of soybeans, soybean meal, and
soybean oil are widely disseminated via press and radio. In the
major bean producing and processing areas, daily newspapers
and trade journals publish detailed price information. This
is supplemented by television and radio releases that are often
revised two or three times each day. At the present time, how-
ever, there are no comparable sources of price information in
Florida. Abbreviated market news reports on soybeans and soy-
bean products are frequently published in some metropolitan and
local newspapers. To obtain more complete information on both
the cash and futures markets simultaneously, Florida producers
should consider subscribing to a newspaper published in one of
the major bean producing areas.
Summary information is available on cash market prices from
two USDA sources. Weekly information on soybean prices is
published in a "Weekly Summary and Statistics," Grain Market
News, which can be obtained from the Consumer and Marketing
Service, Grain Division, Washington, D.C. 20250. A similar
publication entitled "Weekly Summary and Statistics," Feed
Market News, is published by the Consumer and Marketing Ser-
vice, Grain Division, Federal Center Building, Hyattsville, Mary-
Information on the price of futures contracts on soybeans and
soybean products can be obtained promptly from the brokers who
are members of the commodity exchanges. Many of these brokers
are in continuous contact with the principal offices and the trad-
ing flow via teletype, tickers, and electronic quotation boards. In
addition, several brokers will mail weekly resumes of the prices,
volume of trading, and information on the several factors affect-
ing the price of soybeans and soybean products to interested
Essentially all published price quotations are related to clearly
defined grades. For example, the cash market quotations pub-
lished by the USDA are for No. 1 yellow beans. The several
grades of beans that are recognized in the market are defined in
paragraphs 26.601, 26.602, 26.603, 26.901, and 26.902 of the
"Official Grain Standards" of the United States (see Appendix
1). The grade or grades of beans that are acceptable to buyers
and sellers of futures contracts who consummate their transac-
tions in beans rather than off-setting contracts are defined by the
Exchange upon which the contracts are traded.
Grades and Standards
All grain inspectors must be licensed by the U.S. Secretary of
Agriculture. They may be employed by a State Department of
Agriculture or a commodity exchange or may operate inde-
pendently. However, they are not allowed to trade in grain on
their own account or to be employed by a grain trader.
Federal supervisors direct the work of the licensed inspectors
and determine whether or not they are applying the standards
correctly. Anyone having a financial interest in a lot of grain
that has been inspected can request an appeal inspection by the
federal supervisor in the district in which the beans were orig-
A Method of Estimating the Cost of Producing Soybeans
The cost of producing soybeans varies from farm to farm and
from year to year. The cash cost of production can be readily
calculated by multiplying the inputs required for each operation
that must be performed times its cash cost and totaling the cost
of all operations.
For example, one of the inputs or operations that must be per-
formed is planting. Using four row equipment, one acre of soy-
beans can be planted in .35 hours. If it costs 50 cents per hour
to operate the planter, the cash cost of planting is .35 x 50=17.5
cents per acre.
The cash expenditure for producing a crop of soybeans can be
easily estimated by filling out Table 6. The example is based on
average costs using four row equipment and estimates of opera-
tion costs. The cost of operating mechanical equipment will vary
with the type of equipment used. To accurately estimate the
costs on a specific farm, the actual per hour cost of operating the
Table 6.-Estimation of cash costs of producing soybeans.
EXAMPLE YOUR ESTIMATED COSTS
Input or Operation
Per Acre Unit
Description Per Acre Unit
Machine Operations Type of Equipment: Four Row
Breaking XXXXXXX 1
Disking XXXXXXX 1
Fertilization XXXXXXX 1
Planting XXXXXXX 1
Herbicide Application it XXXX C
Insecticide Application XXXX C
Cultivations (3 times) XXXX 1.
Harvesting XXXXXXX C
Hauling to Market XXXXXXX 2
Cash Cost per Acre
Gross Return per Acre 2
Return to Land, Labor, and Capital
Type of Equipment:
35.05 Cash Cost per Acre
6 Bu. 2.75 71.50 Gross Return per Acre
36.45 Return to Land, Labor, and Capital
* Distributed over a three-year period.
t See chapter on Area Recommendations for suggested rates of application.
1 Cash cost of using owner's equipment. Returns to labor and capital included in difference between Cash Costs and Gross Return per Acre.
tt This blank should be filled in if a herbicide is used.
** Based on average costs of Custom Services including materials used.
See chapter on Insects for specific recommendations.
YOUR ESTIMATED COSTS
equipment used should be figured, i.e., the cost of the oil, grease,
and normal maintenance. Farm records are the best source of
information of this kind. Likewise, the actual price of lime,
fertilizer, etc., should be used.
To estimate the total cost per acre, it is necessary to add the
cost of labor, depreciation of equipment, taxes, etc., i.e., all of the
items that do not vary with the type of crop grown. These over-
head costs may vary widely from farm to farm and are difficult
to estimate without an accurate set of farm records. Even when
farm records are available, the net returns from each crop can
differ to the extent that the methods used to allocate overhead
costs among them differ. Inasmuch as the overhead costs will be
incurred regardless of the type of crop grown or the use that is
made of the equipment, a comparison of the difference between
the cash costs of producing alternative crops and the anticipated
returns from each is a reasonably accurate method of selecting
the most profitable. In those instances in which two crops can
be produced, the overhead or fixed costs are simply spread over
more operations, and the net increase in income resulting from
adding the second crop is the difference between cash expendi-
tures incurred in producing it and the net revenue received for
OFFICIAL GRAIN STANDARDS OF THE
UNITED STATES FOR SOYBEANS2
Effective September 1, 1955
26.601 TERMS DEFINED
For the purposes of the official grain standards of the United
States for soybeans:
(a) Soybeans. Soybeans shall be any grain which consists of
50% or more of whole or broken soybeans which will not pass
readily through an 8/64 sieve and not more than 10% of other
grains for which standards have been established under the
United States Grain Standards Act.
(b) Classes. Soybeans shall be divided into the following five
classes: Yellow soybeans, green soybeans, brown soybeans,
black soybeans, and mixed soybeans.
(c) Yellow soybeans. Yellow soybeans shall be any soybeans
which have yellow or green seed coats, and which in cross section
are yellow or have a yellow tinge, and may include not more than
10% of soybeans of other classes.
(d) Green soybeans. Green soybeans shall be any soybeans
which have green seed coats, and which in cross section are
green, and may include not more than 10% of soybeans of other
(e) Brown soybeans. Brown soybeans shall be any soybeans
with brown seed coats, and may include not more than 10% of
soybeans of other classes.
(f) Black soybeans. Black soybeans shall be any soybeans
with black seed coats, and may include not more than 10% of
soybeans of other classes.
(g) Mixed soybeans. Mixed soybeans shall be any mixture of
soybeans which does not meet the requirements of the classes
yellow soybeans, green soybeans, brown soybeans, or black soy-
beans. Bicolored soybeans shall be classified as mixed soybeans.
(h) Grades. Grades shall be the numerical grades, sample
grade, and special grades provided for in 26.603.
(i) Bicolored soybeans. Bicolored soybeans shall be any soy-
beans with seed coats of two colors, one of which is black or
2The specifications of these standards shall not excuse failure to comply
with the provisions of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act.
(j) Splits. Splits shall be pieces of soybeans that are not
(k) Damaged kernels. Damaged kernels shall be soybeans
and pieces of soybeans which are heat-damaged, sprouted,
frosted, badly ground-damaged, badly weather-damaged, moldy,
diseased, or otherwise materially damaged.
(1) Heat-damaged kernels. Heat-damaged kernels shall be
soybeans and pieces of soybeans which are materially discolored
and damaged by heat.
(m) Foreign material. Foreign material shall be all matter,
including soybeans and pieces of soybeans, which will pass readily
through an 8/64 sieve and all matter other than soybeans re-
maining on such sieve after sieving.
(n) Stones. Stones shall be concreted earthly or mineral
matter and other substances of similar hardness that do not dis-
integrate readily in water.
(o) 8/64 sieve. An 8/64 sieve shall be a metal sieve 0.032
inch thick perforated with round holes 0.125 (8/64) inch in dia-
meter with approximately 4,736 perforations per square foot.
26.602 PRINCIPLES GOVERNING APPLICATION OF STANDARDS
The following principles shall apply in the determination of
the classes and grades of soybeans:
(a) Basis of determination. Each determination of class,
splits, damaged kernels, and heat-damaged kernels, and of black,
brown, and/or bicolored soybeans in yellow or green soybeans,
shall be upon the basis of the grain when free from foreign
material. All other determinations shall be upon the basis of the
grain as a whole.
(b) Percentages. All percentages shall be upon the basis of
weight. The percentage of splits shall be expressed in terms of
whole percent. All other percentages shall be expressed in terms
of whole and tenths percent.
(c) Moisture. Moisture shall be ascertained by the air-oven
method prescribed by the United States Department of Agricul-
ture, as described in Service and Regulatory Announcement No.
147, issued by the Agricultural Marketing Service, or ascer-
tained by any method which gives equivalent results.
(d) Test weight per bushel. Test weight per bushel shall be
the weight per Winchester bushel as determined by the method
prescribed by the United States Department of Agriculture, as
described in Circular No. 921 issued June 1953, or as determined
by any method which gives equivalent results.
26.603 GRADES, GRADE REQUIREMENTS, AND GRADE DESIGNA-
The following grades, grade requirements, and grade designa-
tions are applicable under these standards:
(a) Grades and grade requirements for soUbeans. (See also
paragraph (c) of this section).
Maximum limits of -
Damaged kernels Brown,
test weight Heat in yellow
per bushel Damaged Foreign or green
Grade Moisture Splits Total material soybeans
Ibs. % % % %' % %
1 56 13.0 10 2.0 0.2 1.0 1.0
2 54 14.0 20 3.0 0.5 2.0 2.0
3 52 16.0 30 5.0 1.0 3.0 5.0
4 t 49 18.0 40 8.0 3.0 5.0 10.0
Grade Sample grade shall be soybeans which do not meet the require-
ments for any of the grades from No. 1 to No. 4 inclusive; or
which are musty, sour, or heating; or which have any commer-
cially objectionable foreign odor; or which contain stones; or
which are otherwise of distinctly low quality.
* Soybeans which are purple mottled or stained shall be graded not higher than No. 3.
t Soybeans which are materially weathered shall be graded not higher than No. 4.
(b) The grade designation for soybeans shall include in the
order named the number of the grade or the words "Sample
grade," as the case may be; the name of the class; and the name
of each applicable special grade. In the case of mixed soybeans,
the grade designation shall also include, following the name of
the class, the approximate percentages of yellow, green, brown,
black, and bicolored soybeans in the mixture.
SPECIAL GRADES FOR SOYBEANS
(c) Special grades, special grade requiremne nts, and special
grade designations for soybeans-
(1) Garlicky soybeans
(i) Requir(ments. Garlicky soybeans shall be soybeans
which contain five or more garlic bulblets in 1,000 grams.
(ii) Grade dcsignatlion. Garlicky soybeans shall be
graded and designated according to the grade requirements of
the standards applicable to such soybeans if they were not gar-
licky and there shall be added to and made a part of the grade
designation the word "garlicky."
(2) Weerily soybeans-
(i) Requirmnents. Weevily soybeans shall be soybeans
which are infested with live weevils or other live insects in-
jurious to stored grain.
(ii) Grade designation. Weevily soybeans shall be
graded and designated according to the grade requirements of
the standards applicable to such soybeans if they were not
weevily, and there shall be added to and made a part of the grade
designation the word "weevily."
26.901 INTERPRETATION WITH RESPECT TO THE TERM "DIS-
TINCTLY LOW QUALITY"
The term "distinctly low quality," when used in the official
grain standards of the United States, shall be construed to in-
clude grain which contains more than two crotalaria seeds
(Crotalaria spp.) in 1,000 grams of grain.
26.902 INTERPRETATION WITH RESPECT TO THE TERM "PURPLE
MOTTLED OR STAINED"
The term "purple mottled or stained" when used in the official
grain standards of the United States for soybeans (see 26.603
a) shall be construed to include soybeans which are discolored
by the growth of a fungus; or by dirt; or by a dirt-like substance
including nontoxic inoculants; or by other nontoxic substances.
Soils and Soil Management
W. K. Robertson1
Soils best suited for the production of soybeans have good
water and nutrient holding capacities. The amount of water or
nutrients a soil can hold is largely dependent on the amount of
clay or organic matter the soil contains. Although soybean roots
may extend to a depth of 5 feet or more, most of their root
system is usually in the tilled layer. Because of this, the texture
of the topsoil which is affected by the clay content is of primary
importance. However, the texture of the subsoil greatly in-
fluences water availability in the topsoil.
Soils classified as loams, sandy loams, and loamy fine sands
have clay in the topsoil and often a higher percentage of clay in
the subsoil. Soils classified as fine sands often have fine sandy
clay near the surface and enough organic matter in the topsoil
to enable them to produce good soybeans. Coarse sands that do
not grade into finer textured subsoil require very intensive man-
agement for good soybean production particularly if organic
matter is low in the surface.
Although the loams and loamy fine sands are capable of hold-
ing more water and nutrients, the fine sands may be just as pro-
ductive when rainfall is well distributed and adequate fertilizer
has been applied. On coarse sands where rainfall percolates
rapidly through several feet of soil, rainfall usually is not fre-
quent enough to prevent severe moisture stress. Further, not
enough nutrients are held in the root zone to supply the needs
of the plant. The management costs for good soybean produc-
tion (irrigation and possibly repeated fertilizer applications)
may be too expensive for profitable production at present prices.
The loamy soils are found mostly in west Florida and are
represented by the Norfolk-Red Bay and the Marlboro-Green-
The fine sands, represented by the Arredonda-Kanapaha,
Lakeland-Blanton, Jonesville-Chiefland, and Hernando-Archer
groups, are found in north central Florida. Some of these soils
are more productive than others depending on their texture, the
texture of the subsoil, and the parent material from which they
Coarse sands are found in central and south central Florida
and also interspersed among the fine sands of north central
'Soil Chemist, Florida Agricultural Experiment Station.
Soils with poor internal drainage are frequently too wet for
good soybean production unless they are drained. The Leon-St.
Johns group, commonly known as flatwood soils, are in this cate-
gory. Some of them have a spodic horizon (a layer higher in
organic matter and aluminum than the adjacent layers) near the
surface which is associated with the poor internal drainage.
Soybeans have been grown on the Rockdale-limestone complex
in south Florida and occasionally on the organic soils in central
Florida, following spring vegetable crops. Areas from which
spring vegetables are harvested often lie idle during the soybean
growing season and could be used for soybean production with-
out competing with the high income vegetable crops.
Studies made on mineral soils in Florida to determine the man-
agement practices required for soybean production have included
liming, fertilization, and crop rotations.
Soybeans are legumes and when properly inoculated may
obtain all or most of their nitrogen through symbiotic fixation of
atmospheric nitrogen by bacteria in nodules on the roots. Nitro6
gen-fixing bacteria are more efficient when the pH is 6.0 or/
-.ir~~~~ps~~ 41. :~.~~~~c~n:I; ~.
Figure 1.-Soybeans at Live Oak show benefit of liming. Plots in foreground
received no lime and did not make enough growth to shade out weeds. In these
plots thin stands of mature soybeans (yellow) are grown up with green weeds.
Plots in background received 5000 pounds of dolomitic limestone per acre three
years earlier, made good growth, and yielded well.
Experiments on liming soybeans have been conducted at the
Suwannee Valley Experiment Station near Live Oak, at the
North Florida Experiment Station near Quincy, and at the West
Florida Experiment Station near Jay.
Calcium and magnesium levels are given in the oxide forms,
CaO and MgO respectively, the same as are used by the Florida
Agricultural Experiment Station soil testing laboratory to report
results from analyses of soil samples. To convert these values to
elemental calcium and magnesium the values should be multiplied
by 0.7 and 0.6, respectively.
On Klej fine sand at the Suwannee Valley Experiment Station
near Live Oak a yield increase of 13 bushels of soybeans per acre
was obtained when 1500 pounds of dolomitic limestone per acre
was applied (Table 1). Additional limestone up to 6000 pounds
per acre had no significant effect on yield. A general recom-
mendation for fine sandy soils is to apply enough lime to obtain
800 and 100 pounds per acre of CaO and MgO, respectively.
Since soil magnesium is initially low and applied magnesium is
easily lost by leaching, it would be advisable to use dolomitic
limestone instead of high calcic limestone in repeat applications.
Table 1.-Soybean yield response to dolomitic limestone on Klej fine sand,
Dolomitic Lime Yield
pH CaO MgO
lb/acre lb/acre lb/acre bu/acre
0 5.8 430 32 18
1500 6.2 588 46 31
Lime applied in spring of 1963.
The above experiment was established on an area that had
been limed in the past. In its virgin state, Klej fine sand is often
so low in calcium and magnesium that after only 2 years crop-
ping there is practically none left and as a consequence growth
is negligible. In this case the initial application should be at
least 2000 pounds per acre.
In a series of plots at Quincy on Norfolk loamy fine sand,
limestone applications made in 1948 significantly increased the
yield of soybeans grown in 1957 (Table 2). Highest yields were
obtained when the pH was 5.9 or above and CaO and MgO levels
were 519 and 232 pounds per acre, respectively. In other experi-
ments it was found that less than 232 pounds per acre of MgO
would have been adequate; apparently calcium was the limiting
Table 2.-Soybean yield response to dolomitic lime and corresponding soil
analyses data for Norfolk loamy fine sand, 1957.
Dolomitic Soil Analyses t Soybean
Limestone pH CaO MgO Yields
tons/acre lb/acre bu/acre
0 4.8 192 111 22
1 5.5 400 181 29
2 5.9 519 232 31
3 6.2 668 367 31
Limestone applied in the spring of 1948 before planting.
t Soil samples taken in February.
element. Soil analyses made in 1961 showed that pH in the no-
lime treatment had increased from 4.8 in 1957 to 5.3, presumably
from calcium contained in the superphosphate fertilizer applied.
The calcium had also increased. Superphosphate contributes a
pound of calcium for every pound of PO,0 it contains.
Although these data show the value of lime on soils low in
pH, calcium and magnesium, they also show that rates higher
than are required to raise the pH to about 5.9 and to supply ade-
quate calcium and magnesium gave no additional response.
Soil pH values above 6.2 may be detrimental because many
micronutrients are made less available to plants. Following an
initial application that raises pH to about 6.2 and supplies ade-
quate calcium and magnesium, additional limestone in amounts
sufficient to raise the pH to about 6.2 every 4 or 5 years is
recommended. On loamy fine sands about 2 tons per acre per
application usually are needed. On more sandy soils 1 ton per
acre may be sufficient. Dolomitic limestone should be used to
supply the magnesium requirements of soybeans. One further
reason for applications not more than 5 years apart is that
magnesium leaches faster than does calcium. On loamy fine
sands, about 200 pounds per acre of MgO is needed.
On Red Bay fine sandy loam near Jay, liming rates above 4
tons per acre produced lower yields than the 2 to 4 ton rates
(Table 3). Rates of 6 and 8 tons per acre were actually detri-
mental until 4 or 5 years after applications. There was no
measurable response from any treatment the year lime was
applied. This illustrates a very important point regarding lim-
ing: ordinary agricultural limestone reacts very slowly in the
soil; therefore, for the best response, it must be applied several
months before soybeans are planted.
Figure 2.-Beneficial effect of lime on stand and growth of beans (top) com-
pared with no lime (center) at Jay.
Average, yield data for the 6 years reported in Table 3 show
that the 2 and 4 ton per acre rates increased yields 5 bushels per
acre. Data by years after 1957 show that lower rates produced
the highest yields at first but that yields from the higher rates
Table 3.-Soybean yield response to dolomitic limestone for Red Bay fine
Dolomite 1957 1958 1959 1960 1961 1962 Average
0 32 31 28 32 27 26 29
2 30 36 34 34 36 34 34
4 32 35 30 36 35 37 34
6 33 34 30 32 34 37 33
8 30 32 26 28 35 36 31
Av. 31 34 30 32 35 34 32
* The lime was applied in the spring of 1957.
became relatively better in later years. The returns per year
balanced against the cost of liming again favor the application of
moderate rates at intervals of 4 to 5 years rather than heavy
rates at less frequent intervals.
A crop of soybeans yielding 40 bushels per acre contains 180
pounds of nitrogen, 45 pounds of phosphate (P20,), and 80
pounds of potash (KO) per acre. Phosphorus and potassium
needs are expressed as the oxides. The oxides are commonly
called phosphate and potash which are expressed by the chemi-
cal symbols P205 and KO2, respectively. To convert P205 and
K0O to elemental phosphorus and potassium multiply the values
by 0.44 and 0.83, respectively. Soil tests can be used to deter-
mine if the soil contains enough phosphorus, potassium, calcium,
and magnesium and has the proper pH for the crop. They are
conducted without cost to growers by the Florida Agricultural
Extension Service at Gainesville. The county agent will advise
how to take the samples and later, after analyses are carried out,
will help interpret the data. Proper interpretation is partic-
ularly important for phosphorus since for this element methods
of analyses may vary with the soil type.
Only rarely do applications of nitrogen cause significant yield
increases for soybeans. When they do occur they are often the
result of poor nodulation. Many researchers believe that soy-
beans need a low rate of nitrogen at planting to promote growth
until the nitrogen produced by the bacteria in the nodules is
adequate. However, since soybeans are a large-seeded legume,
the planting seed for an acre contain approximately 4 pounds of
nitrogen. This amount should carry them through the question-
Arredonda fine sand and related soils near Gainesville are
derived from phosphatic parent material. They are less likely
to be deficient in phosphorus than in other plant nutrients. Klej
fine sand at Live Oak, although not phosphatic, has moderate
amounts of phosphorus. Soil belonging to the Norfolk and Red
Bay group located in north and west Florida may contain as
much phosphorus as Klej fine sand, yet only small amounts of it
are available. Fixation of phosphorus by these soils is attributed
to the conversion of applied phosphorus to iron and aluminum
phosphates, both of which are only slightly available to plants.
Table 4 contains yield data from an experiment on Norfolk
loamy fine sand near Quincy. Yield responses were obtained to
the highest level of annually applied phosphorus. The soil con-
tained 62 pounds of available P2O, per acre by 1961 when the
highest level (62 pounds per acre) was applied.
Table 4.-Soybean yield response to phosphorus and corresponding soil analyses
data for Norfolk loamy fine sand.
Treatment 1961, Soil Analyses Yield
P.05 pH CaO P2O 1957 1958 1960 1962 Av.
lb/acre lb/acre bu/acre
21 5.7 350 23 29 31 30 32 30.5
42 5.5 336 44 33 33 32 34 33.0
62 5.6 546 62 36 36 36 35 35.8
Calcium and phosphorus extracted with 1.0 N ammonium acetate (pH 4.8).
Table 5 shows yield-soil test correlations for Ruston fine sandy
loam in northwest Florida. Fertilizer treatments were applied
annually. These soils have such highlevels of iron and aluminum
that a different extractant than ammonium acetate, the one used
for the sandier soils, is often used to extract the phosphorus. The
extractant (fluoride) removes some of the aluminum and iron
phosphates which are slightly available to plants. The method
was developed by Bray and is given his name. The data show
that these soils must contain approximately 500 pounds per acre
of "Bray" P20, to supply adequate phosphorus. This corresponds
to approximately 30 pounds of P205 per acre with the ammonium
Table 5.-Soybean yield response to phosphorus and corresponding soil analyses
data for Ruston fine sandy loam.
Av. PO in Soil
1953 1955 1957 1961 1962 Average Bray* Acetatet
0 14 20 17 16 16
8 14 18 17 17 22
;6 15 21 17 20 29
72 15 28 30 24 29
* Bray phosphorus was vxtractI d with .0:3N NH1F in .IN HC1.
f Acetate soluble phosphorus extracted with 1.0 N ammonium acetate (pH 4.S).
Figure 3 contains data from Red Bay fine sandy loam in west
Florida. The experiment from which the data was obtained had
not been cropped previously. Without added phosphorus, yields
were negligible. Higher rates of phosphorus are required for
120 180 240
Applied P205 (Pounds/Acre)
Figure 3.-Effect of applied P on extractable P from Red Bay fine sandy loom
by the Bray method and yields of soybeans.
Figure 4.-Beneficial effect of phosphorus (top) compared with poor growth
of plots with no added phosphorus (bottom) on Red Bay loamy fine sand.
this soil than for the Norfolk and Ruston soils although the
"Bray" phosphorus (Figure 3) is about the same when maxi-
mum yields were obtained. Often the requirements for Red Bay
fine sandy loam are greater than is supplied in the mixed fertili-
zer. Rather than supply the extra phosphorus annually it is
easier to make a large application (800 to 1000 pounds per acre
of superphosphate) the first year. In the following years mixed
fertilizer will supply the phosphorus needs.
The yield response to added potassium varies with soil texture.
The sands, before fertilization, do not contain sufficient potas-
sium for good yields, and since added potassium is readily
leached, there is little carryover for the next crop. The loamy
fine sands and fine sandy loams may have adequate potassium in
the virgin condition to produce good soybean yields for two or
three years. However, to insure against deficiencies and to
maintain a relatively good level in the soil, potassium should be
applied to the soil for each harvested crop.
Experiments on Klej fine sand near Live Oak gave a 16 bushel
yield increase for 40 pounds of K20 (Table 6). The soil only re-
tained 2 pounds more K20 when 60 pounds were applied instead
of 40. These yields were obtained in 1958. Since then, improved
varieties have raised the yield potential to more than 40 bushels
when the soil has been properly limed and fertilized over a
period of years. The higher yields would raise the KO require-
ments to at least the 60 pound per acre rate.
Table 6.-Yield response to potassium and corresponding soil analyses for
Klej fine sand.
K2O Yield KaO in soil *
lb/acre bu/acre lb/acre
0 10 15
20 21 19
40 26 23
60 25 25
SSamples collected following harvest.
Data from a fertility experiment on Ruston fine sandy loam
near Marianna showed an average yield of 14 bushels without
potassium and 25 bushels when 60 pounds per acre of potassium
were applied (Table 7). The corresponding soils data was 47
and 166 pounds of K20 per acre. The heavier soil not only has a
higher initial level of K20 than the Klej fine sand in Table 6
(47 as compared to 15) but also retains more of the applied K20
(119 as compared to 8). Although the experiment on Ruston fine
Table 7.-Soybean yield response to potassium and corresponding extractable K
for Ruston fine sandy loam.
Treatment Yield in Soil *
KeO 1953 1955 1957 1961 1962 Av. 1962
lb/acre bu/acre lb/acre
0 6 14 22 12 16 14 46
15 12 21 18 20 24 19 64
30 14 23 21 24 25 21 102
60 15 28 30 24 29 25 185
SPotassium was extracted from the soil each year prior to fertilization.
sandy loam had been conducted several years longer than the
experiment on Klej fine sand, loss by leaching and crop removal
prevented the accumulation of large amounts of potassium even
at the high rates. Figure 5 portrays graphically the relationship
between average yield and soil potassium for the Ruston fine
The Klej fine sand and Ruston fine sandy loam gave yield
responses for up to 40 and 60 pounds of KO per acre, respec-
tively. Since the yield potential is greater than the 25 bushels
per acre obtained in the experiments when weather conditions
are favorable, rates should average approximately 80 pounds
per acre of K20.
In addition to lime and major plant nutrients, soybeans re-
quire small amounts of molybdenum, boron, copper, manganese,
iron, and zinc. Field trials have not shown consistent responses
to applications of any of these nutrients. However, small
amounts, equivalent in cost to the normal yield response (1 or 2
bushels per acre), should be applied as insurance against possible
deficiencies. A satisfactory source of the above micronutrients
would be Ferro's frit 503, Tennessee corporations Es-Min-El, or
International Minerals M.E.M. They may be mixed in the ferti-
lizer to supply approximately 15 pounds of the mixture per acre.
This is particularly important where high lime and fertilizer
programs are practiced. When visual symptoms of deficiencies
develop after a crop is established, nutritional sprays can be
used to supply the nutrient needed. However, they are more ex-
pensive than buying micronutrients in the fertilizer and some
losses have already occurred by the time deficiency symptoms
occur. A crop usually will respond to needed micronutrients
when no deficiency symptoms appear.
20- Yield 140
< / 120 0
D SoilK -100 >
8- 0 Q
S15 30 45 60
<-Applied K (Pounds/Acre K20)
Figure 5.- Effect of applied K (for 11 years) on acetate extractable K from
Ruston loamy fine sand and yields of soybeans.
Time of Fertilization
In a 3-year rotation experiment consisting of corn followed by
oats for grain the first year; soybeans followed by oats for green
manure the second year; and peanuts followed by lupines for
green manure the third year, yields of soybeans from plots that
were fertilized with 50 and 40 pounds per acre of P0.5 and K2O,
respectively, prior to planting were compared with yields of
other plots that were not fertilized before planting but the pre-
ceding oat crop received 42, 50, and 40 pounds per acre of N,
PO,, and KO2, respectively. The experiment was conducted
from 1949 through 1962 on Norfolk loamy fine sand. Yield dif-
ferences obtained were not significantly different for the two
methods of fertilization. Since oats respond to fertilizer, it
would be better to apply the fertilizer to the oats in the rotation.
In general, soils should be limed to approximately pH 6.0 or to
provide adequate calcium and magnesium. The quantity of lime
required will depend on the initial pH, the texture of the soil, and
the quality of the limestone. The variation is usually from 1 to
2 tons per pH unit. However, regardless of the amount required,
seldom should more than 2 tons of lime per acre be applied in one
application because of the danger of upsetting the nutrient
balance. Dolomitic limestone should be used when magnesium is
low. Limestone must remain in the soil for as much as 6 months
before maximum benefits can be expected.
Sandy soils, unless high in phosphorus, should receive ap-
proximately 60 pounds per acre of POa5. This can be supplied
in mixed fertilizer. When these soils are properly limed, applied
phosphorus does not leach. When the ammonium acetate soluble
phosphorus is 12 pounds of P205 per acre, phosphorus applica-
tions can be reduced. Fine sandy loam soils need more phos-
phorus than sandy soils. Often more is needed than can be
applied in mixed fertilizer. One initial application of 800 to 1000
pounds of superphosphate will raise the available phosphorus so
annual applications can be reduced.
When the soil contains less than 120 pounds of K20 per acre,
supplementary potassium is needed. Usually this can be applied
in mixed fertilizer. Since potassium tends to leach, particularly
from sandy soils, annual applications of at least 80 pounds per
acre should be made.
At high levels of fertilizer, a low level of a complete micro-
nutrient mixture should be applied to eliminate the possibility of
When soybeans follow oats, it usually makes no difference
whether the soybean fertilizer is applied directly to the soybeans
at planting or indirectly to the soybeans by fertilizing the pre-
ceding oat crop. The latter method would be desirable since it
reduces labor and improves oat yield.
Experiments referred to in this paper were conducted in co-
operation with C. E. Hutton, L. G. Thompson, R. W. Lipscomb,
and H. W. Lundy on experiment stations near Jay, Marianna,
Quincy, and Live Oak, respectively.
Kuell Hinson and R. L. Smith2
Planting a productive, well-adapted variety is the least ex-
pensive and one of the most rewarding production practices a
farmer can follow. More than 30 soybean varieties are grown
extensively in the United States. Each has characteristics that
adapt it to some particular production area. Four of these varie-
ties are recommended for production in one or more areas of
Florida. Two additional varieties are recommended for limited
production when early harvest is more important than maximum
yield. Variety recommendations and descriptions will follow a
discussion of the more important points governing variety adap-
The area to which a soybean variety is adapted depends pri-
marily on its response to length of days and nights. With long
days soybean plants continue to make vegetative growth and
under field conditions do not produce flowers until the period of
daylight has shortened below a critical level. This critical level is
specific for each variety but is influenced by the age of the plants
when day length is near the critical level. For example, Volstate
soybeans flowered 15 days later when grown with controlled
141/.-hour day lengths than when grown with 14-hour day
lengths.3 Because most varieties grown in southern states have
a determinate growth habit, maximum height is reached soon
after flower production starts.
The longest days in Florida are shorter than the critical light
period for flower production of varieties adapted to areas
farther north. Northern varieties grown in Florida usually
start to flower within 21 to 28 days after emergence, make in-
adequate growth, and mature within 90 days after planting.
Seed yields are usually low, and seed is of poor quality. The
same varieties grown in the area to which they are best adapted
mature about 125 to 130 days after planting and produce high
yields of good quality seed. Short days reduce the time from
'Publication 427 of U. S. Regional Soybean Lab.
"Associate Agronomist, Florida Agricultural Experiment Station, Gaines-
ville, and Geneticist, Crops Research Division, Agricultural Research
Service, U. S. Department of Agriculture; and Associate Agronomist, West
Florida Experiment Station, Jay, Florida, respectively.
'H. A. Borthwick, Day length and flowering, USDA Yearbook of Agriculture
flowering to maturity as well as the time from emergence to
Since length of day is governed by latitude, soybean varieties
are adapted to rather narrow belts running east and west. For
convenience, varieties have been divided into 10 maturity
groups: 00, 0, I, etc. through VIII. Lower numbered groups are
adapted to northern states, and the higher numbered groups are
adapted progressively further south. Maturity groups VI, VII,
and VIII are best adapted to Florida la'tTdes.
Varieties in maturity group VI, when grown on mineral soils
in south Florida, usually respond somewhat like "northern"
varieties do in other parts of the state. Only the latest flowering
group VIII varieties make enough growth on most mineral soils
of south Florida. The effect of short days on growth is not as
pronounced on organic soils. Varieties in maturity group VI
have made adequate growth on the organic soils near Zellwood
and Belle Glade.
/ A second factor governing variety adaptation is the influence
of environment on the rate of plant growth. A relatively early
' variety may be the best choice for a field with fine textured or
organic soil and an abundance of plant nutrients; whereas, a
later maturing variety would be better in a field with coarse
textured soil and a less abundant supply of available nutrients,
even though the two fields are at the same latitude. Soil moisture
conditions would have a similar effect on a choice of varieties. In
fields where soil moisture is likely to be deficient, a later matur-
ing variety should be selected than for fields likely to encounter
little or no moisture stress. To produce good yields, soybeans
apparently require a certain number of days with near optimum
conditions for growth and development before they produce
flowers, and again for development during the period from
flowering to maturity. When conditions are below optimum, a
longer time is required for satisfactory plant development. Later
maturing varieties will partly compensate for below-optimum
growing conditions and for periods of stress, providing the
stress is not of long duration and does not occur after the earlier
maturing varieties are essentially mature.
The relationship between soil type and adaptation of varieties
in different maturity groups has been demonstrated on the or-
ganic soils near Zellwood, Florida. With the abundant nutrients
contained in the organic soils and with near optimum moisture
conditions controlled by subsurface irrigation and drainage, the
Lee variety has attained satisfactory plant height and most years
has yielded better than later maturing varieties. The southern
range of adaptation for the Lee variety on mineral soils in
Florida is usually considered the finer textured soils in the
northern tier of the western counties.
A third factor that should influence the choice of varieties is
planting date. When planting must be delayed beyond the opti-
mum period, a later maturing variety usually will perform better
than the variety that should have been selected for the optimum
planting date. Late planting shortens the growing season and
does not allow adequate time for growth and development of
early maturing varieties. The effect of planting date on height
and yield is discussed in a later section of this bulletin.
The selection of a variety that will produce optimum growth
has been stressed. Unfortunately, there is no infallible guide as
to what constitutes optimum growth. A minimum growth re-
quirement is that pods should be produced high enough on the
plants for efficient mechanical harvesting, and that leaves on
reasonably erect plants should cover row middles to shade out
weeds and to intercept maximum sunlight for photosynthesis
by the time plants are in full bloom. When these growth require-
ments are not met, a later maturing variety usually will be more
satisfactory, since maturity date and amount of growth are very
There are situations in which a farmer may justifiably settle
for less than optimum growth. Where rainfall patterns and soil
moisture conditions are such that a late maturing variety must
complete its development under severe moisture stress, an earlier
maturing variety may yield more. Also, the advantage of using
an early variety to free the land for a fall-seeded crop may
more than offset the loss in yield and quality. On large acreages,
two or more varieties of different maturities will lengthen the
harvesting period and permit greater use of combining equip-
ment. Using different varieties to extend the harvesting period
is a more reliable procedure than planting one variety over a
range of planting dates.
Variety Yields and Recommendations
Data for varieties tested most extensively are presented by
maturity groups and regions of the state in Tables 1 and 2. These
data were obtained from tests of advanced breeding lines that
were grouped into maturity classes to be compared with standard
check varieties in the same maturity class. Test locations are
identified in Figure 1. Each test contained three replications of
4-row plots planted in late May or early June. Yield data are
Table 1.-Performance of varieties by maturity groups in northwest Florida.
Maturity Group Yield Maturity Height Seed Size Seed Composition
and Variety Bu/A Date Inches Gms/100 % Protein % Oil
Maturity group VI *
Hood 33.3 10-5 24 15.8 40.9 22.3
Ogden 33.8 10-7 25 16.9 41.9 21.6
Lee 37.0 10-10 25 13.5 42.3- 21.2
Maturity group VII t
Lee 37.8 10-14 24 15.9 39.9 23.1
Bragg 38.2 10-17 32 17.2 39.2 23.2
Jackson 37.5 10-19 32 17.3 38.6 23.2
Maturity group VIII t
Jackson 36.3 10-19 35 17.3 38.9 22.7
Bienville 35.6 10-20 36 16.3 39.8 22.7
Hampton 38.2 10-23 34 17.9 37.6 23.2
Hardee 35.4 10-25 42 16.0 40.9 21.9
Average data from four tests at Walnut Hill, one at Jay, two at Marianna, and four at
Quincy, 1955-58. Ogden was not included in tests after 1958.
SAverage data from two tests at Walnut Hill, three at Jay, two at Marianna, and five at
$ Average data from one test at Walnut Hill, four at Jay, two at Marianna, and five at
Table 2.-Performance of varieties by maturity groups in northcentral Florida.
Maturity Group Yield Maturity Height Seed Size Seed Composition
and Variety Bu/A Date Inches Gms/100 % Protein % Oil
Maturity group VII *
Lee 23.4 10-10 22 13.4 43.4 22.1
Bragg 34.7 10-17 31 16.7 41.5 22.6
Jackson 29.5 10-20 30 15.6 39.0 23.4
Maturity group VIII t
Jackson 25.2 10-19 28 16.3 40.5 22.9
Bienville 25.1 10-21 30 14.8 42.1 22.7
Hampton 27.5 10-23 27 16.4 40.0 23.4
Hardee 32.8 10-25 37 14.7 41.9 22.3
* Average data from four tests at Live Oak and six at Gainesville, 1959-64.
t Average data from five tests at Live Oak and five at Gainesville, 1960-64.
from two 16-foot sections from the two center rows of each plot.
Maturity date was when 95% of the pods had turned brown.
This was usually 2 or 3 days before the crop was ready for har-
vest. Height was measured from the soil surface to the top of
the main stem after leaves had dropped. Seed size was the
weight in grams of 100 randomly selected seeds. Percent protein
and percent oil were determined on a dry matter basis by the
U. S. Regional Soybean Laboratory at Urbana, Illinois. Although
the actual value of marketed soybeans is determined by the value
of the protein and oil produced, no discrimination at the market
place is now made among present commercial varieties on the
basis of seed composition.
Walnut Hill Jay Morionna
S-' ~ ', ~~ ~u ""'" \ j incy Live Oak
Figure 1.-Test locations for data presented in Tables 1, 2, and 3.
Lee, a late group VI variety, is also included in group VII
tests. It is considered the "tie-in" variety for groups VI and
VII. Jackson, a late group VII variety, is the "tie-in" variety for
groups VII and VIII. Inferences can be made regarding relative
performance of varieties in different maturity groups by com-
paring performances to the common "tie-in" varieties. However,
comparisons are not as accurate between groups as within
groups, since tests usually involve different years, locations,
planting dates, fertility levels, rainfalls patterns, and other
Direct yield comparisons were obtained in 1964-65 for nine
varieties in three maturity groups in tests replicated four times
at four locations (Table 3). Although these tests do not sample
as many years as those reported in Tables 1 and 2, they give
more accurate comparisons of varieties in different maturity
groups. Two important points are noted: (a) Varieties included
Table 3.-Yields of
nine varieties in three maturity groups at four locations in
Maturity Group Jay Marianna Live Oak Gainesville
and Variety 1964-65 1964-65 1964-65 1964 Only
Bu/A Bu/A Bu/A Bu/A
Maturity group VI
Lee 35.2 32.5 21.7 22.3
Ogden 33.0* 26.9 15.7* 24.8
Maturity group VII
Bragg 41.2 32.8 35.6 31.2
Jackson 41.3 31.7 27.6 26.8
CNS-4 31.8 28.0 29.0 24.9
Maturity group VIII
Hampton 42.3 34.1 30.7 23.6
Hardee 36.1 35.3 36.8 31.2
Bienville 39.6 32.5 25.8 28.0
Stuart 36.9 34.3 27.4 22.7
* Adjusted mean to correct for missing data in 1965.
from maturity group VI do not yield well in northcentral Florida
and are often too short to shade out weeds (Figure 2) or for
efficient harvesting (Figure 3), and (b) the highest yielding
varieties in northwest Florida are often different from the high-
est yielding varieties in northcentral Florida. At Jay, Hampton
yielded most and was followed closely by Bragg and Jackson;
whereas in northcentral Florida, Hardee yielded most and was
followed very closely by Bragg.
All yield data reported were obtained from plots grown on
well-drained soils. Soybeans can also be grown on "flatwoods"
soils. However, no data are available to indicate relative variety
A farmer should choose varieties on the basis of yield, seed
quality, and efficiency of management. When two varieties
recommended for an area have nearly equal yield in experi-
mental plots, a farmer should make trial plantings of both varie-
ties to determine which is better suited to his particular farm
and management system. Differences in soils and fluctuations in
rainfall patterns may shift variety ranks. For example, when
west Florida trials were conducted at Walnut Hill, Lee averaged
46.9 bushels per acre compared with 42.1 bushels for Hood over
a four year period. In tests at Jay (about 30 miles from Walnut
Hill) in four subsequent years, Lee averaged 35.8 bushels per
acre compared with 37.5 bushels for Hood.
Variety recommendations, based on experimental data and ex-
periences of farmers, fall into two categories: (a) varieties that
Figure 2.-Ogden soybeans (left) and Hardee (right), grown in test plots
planted June 19, 1964, at Live Oak, Florida. Note failure of Ogden to shade out
late season weeds in row middles, and good weed control in Hardee plot. Failure
of a variety to shade out weeds suggests the need for a later maturing variety or a
more optimum planting date.
Figure 3.-A close-up view of Ogden and Hardee plants shown in Figure 2.
(Mark on background is 1 foot above soil surface.) Note that Ogden plants are
only about 15 inches tall and pods are too near the ground for efficient combine
harvesting. Lowest pods of Hardee are near optimum height for combine harvest-
should be grown in one or more areas of the state for maximum
yield and (b) those that may give profitable yields when some
factor other than maximum yield (usually early harvest) is the
major consideration. Varieties recommended for maximum
yields and areas of the state to which they are best suited are
Hampton is the highest yielding variety now available for
west Florida. However, its yield, relative to Hardee and Bragg,
decreases as it is moved onto the sandier soils that are more
common further east in the state. In northcentral Florida it
does not yield as well as either Hardee or Bragg. Hampton is
resistant to bacterial pustule, wildfire, target spot, and to some
species of root-knot nematodes. It is very resistant to shattering
and seeds produced in west Florida are of excellent quality. Its
average maturity date is October 23 when planted in early June.
This relatively later maturity may be a disadvantage when small
grains are to be planted after the soybean crop is harvested.
Hardee produces better than other varieties on the well-
drained soils of northcentral and central Florida and has per-
formed satisfactorily as far south as Dade County. It has not
yielded as well as other varieties in most areas of northwest
Florida but has yielded well at Marianna. It performs best, re-
lative to other varieties, on the sandier soils and at more south-
ern latitudes. The loss in yield from very late plantings is often
less for Hardee than for earlier maturing varieties. Hardee is
resistant to bacterial pustule, wildfire, frogeye, and target spot.
It has excellent seed holding qualities and, for a tall, late variety,
stands very well. It has a high degree of tolerance to species of
root-knot nematodes prevalent in northcentral Florida. Occasion-
ally seeds produced for planting have not met germination
standards for certification, although quality appears good.
Therefore, only seeds of known viability should be planted.
Bragg has yielded almost as much as Hampton in northwest
Florida and almost as much as Hardee in northcentral Florida.
On some farms it may actually yield more than either Hampton
or Hardee. It matures about 6 days earlier than Hampton and
about 8 days earlier than Hardee. Combine efficiency can be in-
creased in large plantings by dividing the acreage between
Hampton and Bragg in west Florida or between Hardee and
Bragg in northcentral Florida with little or no reduction in total
yield. Bragg appears to be slightly inferior to Hardee in ability
to withstand drought stress, and because of its earlier maturity
is not adapted as far south as Hardee. However, Bragg made
satisfactory growth and produced good yields near Brooksville
in 1966. It is resistant to bacterial pustule, wildfire, and target
spot, has a high degree of resistance to root-knot nematodes, and
has excellent seed holding qualities.
Lee has yielded better than other varieties on the organic soils
near Zellwood. It is also well adapted to the finer-textured soils
of northwest Florida that have good moisture holding qualities.
It is not adapted to northcentral Florida. Lee has excellent seed
holding qualities and is resistant to bacterial pustule, wildfire,
frogeye, and purple seed stain. Its seeds are smaller than those
of most other varieties and usually are of excellent quality;
therefore, planting rate should be based on 10 to 12 seeds per
foot of row rather than on volume per acre.
Four other varieties are being grown in varying amounts in
west Florida. Two of these, Jackson and Ogden, have been im-
portant in expanding production. However, they are being re-
placed by newer varieties that produce higher yields or have
other more desirable qualities. Jackson does not hold its seed
well and yields less than either Hampton or Bragg. It matures 4
days earlier than Hampton and 2 days later than Bragg; there-
fore, it has no advantage for time of harvest. Ogden shatters
more than Jackson, has green seeds that are undesirable in
foreign markets, and is susceptible to bacterial pustule.
Hood and Hill, the other varieties now grown in west Florida,
are recommended only when early maturity is more important to
the farmer than maximum yields. They usually produce best
when planted as near June 1 as possible. Very early or very late
plantings decrease yields more for these varieties than for later
maturing ones. None of the four have performed satisfactorily
in northcentral Florida.
Hood usually matures during the first week in October when
planted in early June. It is about 2 days earlier than Ogden and
should have preference over Ogden for an early maturing
variety. It has yellow seeds, good seed holding qualities, and is
resistant to bacterial pustule, wildfire, and target spot.
Hill is classed in maturity group V. It usually matures during
the first half of September when planted in early June. It is
resistant to the major foliar diseases and to some species of root-
knot. West Florida farmers who grow Hill usually sacrifice
several bushels per acre in yield for the opportunity to harvest
Pickett, a variety resistant to the soybean cyst nematode, was
released in 1965. It is closely related to the Lee variety but
differs in appearance from Lee in that plants have gray pubes-
cence and the hilum color is not as black. It has performed much
like Lee in the absence of cyst nematodes. Pickett should be
grown on soil known or believed to be infested with the soybean
cyst nematode. However, there is no reason for growing Pickett
where cyst nematodes are not present.
Crosses have been made to incorporate cyst nematode resist-
ance into breeding stocks that mature later than Pickett.
Data for Bienville and Stuart are included because these varie-
ties are grown in nearby states. They are not recommended for
any area of Florida. CNS-4 and Ogden were included in variety
trials reported in Table 3 to measure the progress that has been
made in variety improvement. All other varieties have been
released less than 15 years; Hampton, Hardee, and Bragg were
released after 1960. Further advances in variety improvement
are anticipated which will make these recommendations obsolete.
Distinguishing characteristics of varieties now grown in Flor-
ida are given in Table 4.
Table 4.-Distinguishing characteristics of soybean varieties grown in Florida.
Variety Flower Pubescence Pod Seed Coat Hilum
Color Color Color* Color (Seed Scar)
Hill white tawny t tan yellow It. brown
Hood purple gray brown yellow buff
Ogden purple gray brown green brownish-black
Lee purple tawny tan yellow black
Bragg white tawny brown yellow black
Jackson white gray brown yellow buff
Hampton purple gray brown yellow buff
Hardee white gray tan yellow buff
* Color reported in this column is with pubescence (hairs) removed. When unaltered pods
are observed, the pubescence color usually predominates.
t Tawny is the term assigned to describe brown or reddish-yellow pubescence on stems, pods,
1. Hartwig, E. E. 1954. Factors affecting time of planting soybeans in the
southern states. U. S. Department of Agriculture Circular 943.
2. Johnson, H. W., J. L. Cartter, and E. E. Hartwig. 1959. Growing Soy-
beans. U. S. Department of Agriculture Farmer's Bulletin 2129.
R. L. Smith and Kuell Hinson2
Good cultural practices reduce the hazards of soybean produc-
tion and produce maximum yields at the lowest cost per unit.
The difference between many good and poor cultural practices
is only a matter of the time operations are performed. Soil
type, climate, and other factors influence the culture that should
be used. Some practices best for Florida differ from those rec-
ommended for more northern states.
A good seedbed is free from weeds at planting. It has the
proper soil tilth and moisture for maximum and uniform emer-
gence. All crop or weed residues are well incorporated into the
soil, and the seedbed is level enough for shallow, early tillage
The types of seedbed preparation for soybeans are: (a) the
conventional method and (b) minimum tillage or mulch plant-
ing. Practically all soybean seedbeds are prepared by the con-
ventional method, which consists of plowing, applying fertilizer,
and harrowing with a disk or spring-tooth harrow to control
weeds and obtain a level seedbed. Some farmers attach a drag
behind their disk harrow to fill furrows made by the last disking.
Disking before plowing may be necessary to cut up crop or weed
residues for better incorporation in the soil.
When spring crops do not occupy the land, plowing should be
done well in advance of planting. Two or three preplanting
tillage operations may be needed. The last tillage should be no
deeper than is necessary to kill weeds. Shallow tillage conserves
soil moisture, provides a moderately firm seedbed under the
seed, and brings fewer weed seed to the surface where they can
germinate. The last tillage operation should be carried out just
before planting, to allow plants to emerge before weeds.
When spring crops occupy the land, there is less time for seed-
bed preparation. Plowing and disking may reduce soil moisture
below the level required for rapid and uniform germination.
Planting should then be delayed until there is rain and may need
'Publication 428 of the U. S. Regional Soybean Laboratory.
2Associate Agronomist, West Florida Experiment Station, Jay, Flor-
ida; and Associate Agronomist, Florida Agricultural Experiment Station,
Gainesville, also Geneticist, Crops Research Division, Agricultural Re-
search Service, U. S. Department of Agriculture.
to be preceded by shallow tillage to kill germinating weeds.
Weed populations are reduced when small grains and soybeans
are grown on the same field for several successive years, and
the need for preplanting tillage is accordingly reduced.
It is often very difficult, in the time available, to incorporate
straw from small grains into the soil. The straw may be baled
and removed, or it may be burned. To many agricultural
workers and farmers, the thought of burning straw is unpleas-
ant; however, experiments at both the West Florida and North
Florida Stations have shown no detrimental effect to the soybean
crop. It makes land preparation, planting, and early cultivation
easier. It conserves moisture that would be absorbed by the
incorporated straw and also kills insects and weeds. Some farm-
ers are now following the practice.
Minimum tillage or mulch planting, the second method men-
tioned, develops loose, rough, elevated middles between the rows
and a fine, firm, depressed seedbed in the rows. Very little soil
moisture is lost in planting, and seeds are planted in furrows
where moisture is more plentiful. Mulch-planted soybeans can
germinate and make rapid early growth on the soil moisture
that would be lost from seedbeds prepared by the conventional
method. It serves best when seedbed preparation by the con-
ventional method would delay planting too long. Much of the
time and expense of seedbed preparation is saved by mulch
planting. However, mulch planters are expensive.
Several farmers in west Florida who used mulch planters
have gone back to the conventional method. The elevated mid-
dles made cultivation much more difficult, and weeds became a
greater problem in the row middles. Pods were also nearer the
soil surface. Mulch planting is being reevaluated at the West
Florida Station. Various modifications on the planters are re-
ducing difficulties in cultivation, and more satisfactory results
are being obtained.
Liming and Fertilization
Lime and fertilizer requirements are discussed in the preced-
ing section. Here, we shall speak only of the time and method
of their application.
Ordinary agricultural limestone reacts rather slowly. It
should be applied and incorporated well into the soil at least
3 to 6 months before planting. When other crops occupy the
land in the spring, soybeans may respond better if lime is ap-
plied to the preceding crop.
When soybeans follow a heavily fertilized winter or spring
crop, maximum returns from fertilizer investments may be ob-
tained by applying additional fertilizer to the preceding crop
and not fertilizing soybeans. An experiment conducted at the
North Florida Station from 1954-58, on a field that had received
liberal applications of fertilizer before 1954, showed no bene-
ficial effects from fertilizer applied to soybeans when the pre-
ceding oat crop was fertilized with 500 pounds per acre of
2-12-12 at planting and topdressed with 125 pounds of am-
monium nitrate. Observations at the West Florida Station
indicate that 800 to 1000 pounds of 0-14-14 is needed in west
Florida each year for maximum returns from both small grains
and soybeans. Returns from applying all the fertilizer to the
small grains equal those obtained from applying one-half the
total to each crop. Additional nitrogen is needed only for the
Fertilizer may be applied in bands at planting or broadcast
before planting. Best results from band placement are obtained
when bands are 2 to 3 inches to the side, and 2 inches below the
seed; fertilizer containing potash or nitrogen is injurious to
germination when in direct contact with the seed. Fertilizer
should be broadcast if band-placement equipment is not avail-
able, or if high rates are applied. Applying fertilizer broad-
cast, and disking it in, may require no more total time than
drill applications, because planting proceeds much more rapidly,
and the disking usually is needed anyway to kill weeds and pro-
duce a better seedbed.
Soybeans must be inoculated with a commercial culture of
nitrogen-fixing bacteria unless the proper bacteria are present
in the soil. Bacteria that produce nodules on other legumes do
not nodulate soybeans, and it is not practical to apply nitrogen
fertilizer in quantities required for good yields. The bacteria
live in the soil for several years; therefore, inoculation is not
necessary if fields have recently grown well-nodulated soybeans.
Figure 1 illustrates the difference between inoculated and un-
The label on the inoculum container specifies the crop for
which the inoculum is prepared and gives directions for its use.
These directions should be carefully followed. The inoculum
should be stored in a cool place before use; high temperatures
and exposure to sunlight reduce the number of bacteria in the
Figure 1.-Hardee soybeans at Gainesville, Florida, showing the difference be-
tween uninoculated rows (left and center) and inoculated row (right). Uninocu-
lated rows produced a few nodules from contamination. Rows, left to right,
yielded at the rate of 17, 19, and 43 bushels per acre respectively. Assuming
50% utilization of applied nitrogen, nearly 450 pounds per acre of ammonium
nitrate would have been required for the yield of the uninoculated rows to equal
the yield of the inoculated row.
container, and are even more serious when combined with the
effect of drying after the inoculum is coated on the seed. Inocu-
lum sticks much better if seeds are moistened. Results from
several studies have shown that 83% of the inoculum was re-
tained on moistened seed, whereas only 8% was retained on dry
seed. The quantity of seed inoculated should be limited to the
amount that can be planted before the seed coats have com-
Recently, some inoculum cultures have contained molybde-
num, an element required by soybeans in very small amounts.
Soils in need of molybdenum are rare in the United States but
are known to occur in Georgia when pH is low. One study of
the number of nodules produced from mixing several molybde-
num compounds with inoculum gave evidence that nodulation
was reduced by varying amounts, depending on the amount and
type of molybdenum compound and the length of storage. There-
fore, if molybdenum is to be applied to the seed, it would be safer
to obtain it separately, unless further study identifies compounds
that are compatible with the bacteria. It can be applied to the
seed, with the inoculum, just before planting.
Figure 2.-Hardee soybeans at Brooksville show effects of poor nodulation.
Inoculum was partly killed by exposure.
When nodulating bacteria are present in the soil, nodules are
distributed over the entire root system. If the inoculum applied
to seeds is the only source of bacteria, the first nodules produced
are not as well distributed. Plants may be paler green for a few
weeks and may grow slower. This is one reason some farmers
believe that soybeans are better the second year on a field than ,
they are the first year. Plants are often shorter the first year,
but if enough inoculum is properly applied, little or no difference
in yield should be expected. Older nodules decay as the season
progresses and release millions of bacteria into the soil, some of
which infect young roots to produce additional nodules. These
newly formed nodules are active during the pod filling stage
when the need for nitrogen is greatest.
Only good quality planting seed of a variety recommended for
te production area should be used. Certified seed insures varie-
t1 purity and an acceptable germination percentage at the time
Testing. Germination percentages above 90 are very good.
Percentages below 80 are more likely to give poor stands under
conditions unfavorable for germination and emergence, even if
planting rate is corrected for low germination. Seed treatment
with fungicides often improves stands when germination is low.
High quality planting seed can be produced and maintained in
Florida, with proper precautions, even though weather condi-
tions are less favorable than those in most other production
areas. Viability is reduced by periods of warm humid weather
between maturity and harvest, which increase respiration and
allow bacteria and fungi to infect seeds. Planting seed should be
harvested as soon as possible after maturity. Careful attention
should also be given to combine settings and cleaning operations
to prevent loss of viability from mechanical injury.
Stored seed maintain good germination if the moisture content
is 12% or below, and if temperatures are not extremely high.
Serious deterioration occurs in warm weather if the moisture
content is 14% or above. Temperature of planting seed should
never exceed 100-F. while being dried by heated forced air.
Storage facilities should be well ventilated to prevent reduction
of germination by overheating, even if the moisture content is
within safe limits.
Farmers who buy planting seed should know germination per-
centages before buying, and choose seed with very good ger-
mination. Proper handling and storage will prevent reduced
germination. Contracts for planting seed should be made early,
to obtain the proper variety and quantity. However, delivery
may need to be delayed until near planting time, if good storage
facilities are not available on the farm.
When germination is 85% or less, stands on mineral soils may
be improved by treating seed with thiram, chloranil, captain, or
other seed-treatment fungicides. It is wise to test germination
with and without treatment, to determine whether it will be
beneficial. Seed planted in organic soils should be routinely
treated regardless of germination percentage. Seed can be
treated any time before planting. The most satisfactory time is
when they are cleaned. Although beneficial, seed treatment is
never a complete substitute for good seed.
- Treatment reduces the effectiveness of inoculation but does
not reduce the effectiveness of nitrogen-fixing bacteria already
in the soil. Therefore, when inoculation is required on mineral
soils, a higher priority should be given to excellent quality plant-
ing seed that will give good stands without treatment.
Seed should be planted in soil containing enough moisture for
prompt and uniform emergence. In one study a seed moisture
content of about 50% was required for germination, whereas
corn seed with about 30 % moisture germinated. Excessive mois-
ture is unfavorable for germination. The best stands usually are,
obtained when plantings are made as soon as possible after a
When the surface soil becomes dry, planting in a furrow may
place the seed in contact with soil containing enough moisture
for germination. However, this practice is hazardous, since
heavy rains may cause the furrow to fill in and cover the seed
too deeply. A row depression of 1 inch or less usually will cause
no difficulty and often helps to control weeds during the first
The proper planting depth is about 11/2 inches. Differences in
stands obtained from 11/- and 4-inch planting depths are illus-
trated in Figure 3. Planting as shallow as 1 inch or less can,
also reduce stands in very hot sunny weather. Seeds may be-)
come overheated, or the soil around the seed may dry out before
roots develop. Also, nodulation from applied inoculum may be
Faulty planting equipment or improper adjustment often
causes poor stands. Before time to plant, all equipment should
be checked and put in good working order. Since seed size varies
with varieties, years, and production areas, it is important to
check planting plates to see whether the ones on hand will pro-
duce the desired seeding rate.
Figure 3.-Stand differences in Hardee soybeans at Live Oak, Florida, planted
at the same rate 4 inches deep (left) and I 12 inches deep (right).
When stands are thin, the farmer is faced with the problem
of whether to replant or to continue with his original planting.
He will need to consider the effect of planting date and plant
population on yield, the cost of replanting, the possibility of
another poor stand, and the difficulty of weed control. In weed-
free fields, 3 to 4 plants per foot of row usually yield as well as
thicker stands, and almost always yield more than late plantings.
Occasional skips of 4 feet in the row, with otherwise good
stands, do not reduce yields significantly.
A date-of-planting experiment in west Florida produced high-
est yields from plantings made on June 1 (Table 1). Average
yields were only slightly lower from plantings made on May 15
and June 15; and one variety produced its highest yield from
May 15 plantings. Yields declined rather rapidly in plantings
made after July 1. A study conducted at Gainesville gave similar
results, except that late plantings reduced yields more drasti-
Fortunately, the planting date that produces the best yields
also produces the best plant type for weed control. The earliest
plantings reported in Table 1 had short, large stems. The latest
plantings had short, slender stems. Neither plant type gave as
good ground cover as the plant type from May 15, June 1, and
June 15 plantings.
Although plantings made near the middle of May are produc-
tive, they face more hazards than early June plantings. Poor
stands resulting from insufficient soil moisture are more common
in May. The earlier plantings reported in Table 1 were irrigated
when necessary to produce good stands. Also, lesser cornstalk
borers are more likely to attack May plantings than June plant-
ings. When conditions are very favorable for germination and
Table 1.-Effect of planting date on yield of six soybean varieties at Walnut
Hill, Florida, over a period of 5 years.
Date of Yield in Bushels per Acre
Planting Ogden Lee Hood Roanoke Jackson Bienville Average
April 15 28 27 17 27 31 33 27
May 1 30 33 33 28 33 39 33
May 15 32, 36 37 32 35 44 36
June 1 34 37 39 34 37 39 37
June 15 31 32 32 34 31 33 32
July 1. 25 28 28 27 29 32 28
July 15 20 21 24 18 20 20 21
August 1 16 14 14 12 14 12 14
_... .. .. .. .. :
Figure 4.-Lee soybeans planted on eight dates at Jay, Florida, in 1966.
Planting dates, left to right, were 4/15, 5/1, 5/15, 6/1, 6/15, 7/1, 7/15, and
8/1. Corresponding yields in bushels per acre were 18, 38, 41, 38, 36, 28,
30, and 33.
growth, mid-May plantings may be best. When conditions are
less favorable, plantings made as early as possible in June are
to be preferred because fewer risks are involved.
Varieties having short growing seasons should be planted as
near June 1 as possible. Long-season varieties are less adversely
affected by either earlier or later plantings. Yield of Hood, the
earliest maturing variety included in Table 1, w~s influenced
more by planting date than were the latest maturing aieties,
Jackson and Bienville. Height of all varieties planted on Augt
1 was about 12 inches. Yields were reduced accordingly. The-
detrimental effects of late plantings are reduced by conditions
favorable for rapid early-season growth such as soils with above
average clay or organic matter, high fertility levels, and good
Planting should be at the rate of about 10 to 12 viable seeds
per linear foot of row. For seed. of average size, with good
germination, in 36- to 40-inch rows, the rate will be about 60
pounds per acre, or slightly less. Number of seeds per foot of
Table 2.-Yields of soybean varieties at various seeding rates in 36-inch rows
at Walnut Hill, Florida.
Rate of Ogden Lee Jackson Bienville Hood
Seeding 1950-55 1954-57 1954-57 1957 1957
30 27 22 23 28 23
45 29 25 24 29 26
60 27 24 27 29 31
75 27 26 26 29 26
90 27 25 25 31 26
105 28 25 26 31 30
120 27 23 24 29 29
135 16 23 23 29 -
150 22 25 25 29 -
row is a better guide for optimum seeding rate than pounds per
acre, because of variation in seed size.
A rate-of-seeding experiment conducted in west Florida, in
36-inch rows, produced essentially equal yields at rates ranging
from 45 through 105 pounds per acre (Table 2). Rates of 30 or
more than 105 pounds per acre gave slightly lower yields. Seed-
ing rates of 60 pounds per acre or more made weed control easier
because of shading and seemed to help plants emerge when crusts
formed. Considerable lodging occurred at rates above 75 pounds
A second experiment conducted in west Florida gives informa-
tion on rate of seeding, rate of fertilization, and row width. Six
row widths from 12 through 42 inches were used. Combinations
of seeding and fertilization rates were: (a) uniform seeding and
fertilization per acre; (b) uniform seeding per linear foot of
row and uniform fertilization per acre; and (c) uniform seeding
and fertilization per linear foot of row. In all three combina-
tions, seeding and fertilization rates were equal in 36-inch rows.
Treatments are further described and yields are reported in
Table 3. Seeding rates above 60 pounds per acre did not produce
higher yields when fertilizer applications remained constant.
Row widths of 12 through 36 inches produced essentially equal
yields when fertilization rates were the same (Table 3). Yields
were slightly lower in 42-inch rows. These results are similar to
others obtained in the Southeast. When conventional 36- to 40-
inch rows produce relatively high yields, further increases from
narrow rows are infrequent. When early maturing varieties, low
fertility soil, dry weather, or late planting cause poor plant
Table 3.-Effect of row width, seeding rate, and fertilization rate on Ogden
soybeans at Walnut Hill, Florida 1951-53.
Row Width Seeding Rate 4-10-7- Fertilizer Yield
(inches) (lbs/A) (Ibs/A) (bu/A)
(A) (B) (C) (A) (B) (C) (A) (B) (C)
12 60 180 180 600 600 1800 29 25 31
18 60 120 120 600 600 1200 27 26 28
24 60 90 90 600 600 900 27 26 26
30 60 72 72 600 600 720 26 24 25
36 60 60 60 600 600 600 27 25 24
42 60 51 51 600 600 514 24 23 23
growth, narrow rows usually produce higher yields. In general,
no yield increase is expected from reducing row width when
leaves of reasonably erect plants overlap in row middles by the
time plants are in full bloom. Rank growing plants lodge more
in narrow rows, and rows narrower than 28 inches are difficult
to cultivate. However, narrow rows may have an advantage, by
producing faster ground cover, if herbicides that can eliminate
the need of cultivation become available.
A farmer who has reason to believe that rows narrower than
36 to 40 inches will increase his yields may find it impractical to
change his equipment. He may still be able to obtain higher
yields, and continue to use wide rows, by choosing a ranker
growing variety or by planting at a more optimum date.
Weeds are major hazards to successful soybean production.
They cause yield losses from competition for water, nutrients,
and sunlight and cause harvest losses during combining. They
also cause green plant material to become mixed with the har-
vested seed. This increases the moisture content and lowers seed
quality. All crotalaria plants in soybean fields should be de-
stroyed, because their seeds are poisonous and are not tolerated
in soybeans for any use.
Very good weed control can be obtained from properly timed
cultivations. When soybean plants are small and weeds are
emerging, the rotary hoe is the most effective cultivating im-
plement. If a rotary hoe is not available, soybeans should be cul-
tivated with sweeps as soon as they are large enough. Special at-
tention should be given to weeds in the row during the first cul-
tivations. If weeds are controlled well for about 4 weeks after
planting, a good stand of vigorous soybeans will prevent further
weed germination in the row. One more cultivation usually will
be needed to control weeds in middles. A weed-free field, at about
6 or 7 weeks after planting, will remain free from weeds until
plants mature, provided the proper variety and row width are
used, stands are good, and the soil is fertile enough to support
There is no advantage to ridging rows more than is necessary
to control weeds. Ridging does not make plants stand better, and
pods are produced about the same distance up the stem from
planting depth on ridged and unridged rows. Cutterbar losses
are often increased on ridged rows from cutting above or
through pods at harvest.
The use of herbicides to control weeds in soybeans is in-
creasing; however, cultivation is still, by far, the most common
method of weed control. Soybeans are very sensitive to injury
from most herbicides, when applied at rates that will kill weeds.
No herbicide now available is consistently as safe and effective
for soybeans as the better ones are for peanuts. The effectiveness
of herbicides varies with areas of the state, because of the type
of weeds present, major differences in soil types, and possibly
When early-season weed control fails, farmers may find that
the method recently perfected for controlling sesbania (also
known as coffeeweed or coffeebean) in soybean fields in Missis-
sippi can be adapted to control tall-growing, broad-leaved weeds
that become troublesome late in the season. The method consists
of mounting bars of wax containing 2,4D on tractor booms behind
the tractor, set just high enough to clear the soybeans, then driv-
ing through the field. The treated wax rubs off onto the weeds,
and they begin to wither and die in about 3 weeks. Best results
were obtained from using wax bars that weighed 6 pounds, were
22 inches long, contained 1 pound of 2,4D, and had a melting
point of 170F. Six of these bars, spaced 2 to 3 inches apart,
end-to-end, cover four soybean rows. Optimum tractor speed was
about 4 miles per hour. When weeds were treated before they
reached a height of 3 feet above the, soybeans, cost of a single
treatment varied from $0.75 to $1.50 per acre. This method, or
some modification of it, has a potential for controlling the type of
coffeeweed most common to Florida, Cassia tora L., and other
broad-leaved weeds such as pigweed, hairy indigo, giant beggar-
weed, and cocklebur. It would be wise to test various modifica-
tions of the method on a limited scale to determine their effec-
tiveness. Best results would be expected from treating weeds
when they are succulent. Yield loss will occur only if the 2,4D
contacts the soybean plants. Therefore, only weeds several
inches above the soybeans can be successfully treated, and the
boom holding the wax bars must be mounted on the rear of the
tractor to prevent 2,4D from being rubbed from the weeds onto
the tractor and in turn onto the soybeans.
Irrigation is not normally considered practical for soybeans
in the southeastern part of the United States, unless the equip-
ment is already available and can be used economically. When
the soil moisture supply is low enough that subnormal yields are
expected, irrigation may produce normal yields. Above-normal
yields have not been obtained from irrigation.
The most critical period for moisture is from late bloom
through pod development. Soybeans continue to respond to ade-
quate moisture until the leaves begin to yellow in normal
maturity. Therefore, irrigation, when used, should not be dis-
continued too soon.
As plants approach maturity, the leaves become yellow and
drop; the pods become dry; and there is rapid loss of moisture
from the seed. A seed moisture content of 12 to 14% is best for
harvesting. A moisture content above 14% is too high for stor-
age without drying. However, it is sometimes better to harvest
when the moisture is above 14%, and dry the seed, than to risk
deterioration from delayed harvest. When seed moisture is be-
low 12%, germination damage from mechanical injury increases.
When the moisture content drops below 10%, cracked seed are
likely to occur. Except in the west Florida area, moisture con-
tent is not likely to be as low as 10%. Careful combine adjust-
ment, which is discussed briefly in a later paragraph, will help
prevent mechanical injury.
Soybeans should be harvested as soon as possible after ma-
turity, and seed that are to be used for planting should receive
first priority. Although most varieties now being grown are
resistant to shattering, losses in both yield and quality from
other causes can be serious. Respiration, which proceeds at a
rapid rate during periods of warm humid weather, can cause
considerable weight loss. Microorganisms, which are always on
pods and are often in seeds, make rapid growth in warm humid
weather and cause lower seed quality and, indirectly, lower
yield. Many pods remain unthreshed when harvest is delayed,
because fungal growth holds the two pod walls together, and
other seed are held in partially opened pods. One study at
Gainesville measured a yield loss of 33% for one variety and
36 for another, not including shattering losses, when harvest was
delayed from October 16 to December 1.
Other losses may occur at harvest. A 1958 South Carolina
survey found that total harvest losses averaged 9.7% of produc-
tion. This was divided into preharvest shatter, 0.5%; losses
through the combine, 1.4%; and cutting losses, 7.8%. An
average of 2.2% of the seed were left undisturbed on the stubble,
and 3.0% were shattered by action of the cutterbar and reel
(mostly cutterbar). Stubble and cutterbar losses totaled 50%
in one field. One combine was losing 16.5% from unthreshed
pods in misty weather. Another was losing 8.5% over the chaffer
because the machine was badly out of adjustment. A third was
losing 3.5% over the chaffer because a large quantity of green
weeds was going through the machine. The surveyors noted that
many combines were harvesting very efficiently, and that losses
were caused by poor machine adjustment or damp weather
rather than by basic defects in the design of the combines.
Florida farmers are likely to face similar situations. Leaving
an average of 4 seeds per square foot, or 40 seeds in a 36- by
40-inch area, amounts to about 1 bushel per acre loss. Combines
should be inspected, repaired, and adjusted before harvest starts.
Further adjustments are frequently needed as moisture content
of the seed changes during the day and from one day to another.
Careful adjustment to the lowest practical cutterbar height,
which may require a slower speed through the field, will reduce
losses from cutting through or above pods. However, a taller-
growing variety, an earlier planting date, or less ridging of rows
may be required to eliminate such losses. Losses from the beat-
ing of reels on plants can be reduced by adjusting the height of
the reel, slowing down the reel, or removing some of the bats
from the reel.
Seed quality is frequently reduced by improper combine ad-
justment. Split or cracked seed reduce market grade and should
not occur in seed harvested for planting. When split or cracked
seeds are observed, additional hidden damage that seriously re-
duces germination is almost always present. Cracked seed are
caused by too high cylinder speed, too little clearance between
cylinder and concave bars, too many bars in the cylinder or
concave, or serves closed too much. The South Carolina survey
reported that practically all cylinders observed could have run
slower without appreciably increasing loss from unthreshed
seed. In all cases visible seed damage could have been prevented
by proper adjustment. Careful study of the instruction manual
supplied by the combine manufacturer should enable operators to
adjust their machines properly.
1. U. S. Department of Agriculture. 1965. Wax bars, a new technique for
controlling sesbania in soybeans. Agricultural Research, USDA 14(4):
2. Cartter, J. L., and E. E. Hartwig. 1963. The management of soybeans,
p. 161-226. In A. G. Norman. The Soybean. Academic Press, New York,
3. Howell, R. W. 1963. Physiology of the soybean, p. 75-124. In A. G.
Norman. The Soybean. Academic Press, New York, London.
4. Giddens, Joel. 1964. Effect of adding molybdenum compounds to soybean
inoculant. Agron. J. 56:362-363.
5. Johnson, H. W., J. L. Cartter, and E. E. Hartwig. 1959. Growing soy-
beans, USDA Farmer's Bulletin 2129.
6. Park, J. K., and B. K. Webb. 1959. Soybean harvesting losses in South
Carolina. Agri. Exp. Sta. Cir. 123.
7. Prine, G. M., S. H. West, and K. Hinson. 1964. Shattering, moisture
content and seed temperature of soybeans as influenced by row direction.
Agron. J. 56:594-595.
8. Smith, R. L. 1959. Soybean production in west Florida. Proc. Soil and
Crop Sci. Soc. of Fla. 19:226-231.
1. Insects and Their Control
L. C. Kuitert'
For several years infestations of soybeans by insects in Florida
were of minor economic importance; however, severe infestation
occurred in many test plantings with considerable regularity.
With soybeans becoming a major crop in some areas, insect prob-
lems in farmers' fields have increased in importance. However,
in all areas where soybeans have been grown extensively, present
control measures usually have been effective and practical.
Insect surveys show that there is always a threat to the yield
and quality of soybeans because of the large diversity of pests
that may attack the crop. The importance of specific pests varies
from one year to another, and from one area of the state to
another, according to the prevalence of other crop or weed plants
that harbor the insects. The ravages of certain of these pests
and the difficulty of their control in test plantings have been a
major factor limiting the evaluation of soybeans as a crop in
For convenience the various pests are discussed in about the
same sequence as they are likely to be encountered in the field.
Seedling plants are subject to attack by cutworms and, most im-
portant, the lesser cornstalk borer, Elasmopalpus lignosellus
(Zeller). Several types of defoliating insects are found until the
time the plants are about to bloom, but these are seldom im-
portant except in isolated areas. These include the corn ear-
worm, Heliothis zea (Boddie), the cabbage looper, Trichoplusia
ni (Hubner), the bean leaf roller, Urbanus proteus (Linnaeus),
the Mexican bean beetle, Epilachna varivestis Mulsant, two
species of armyworms, and two species of grasshoppers. The
velvetbean caterpillar, Anticarsia gemmatalis (Hubner), is the
most important insect pest during the latter part of August. It
may completely defoliate fields and cause a considerable number
of pods to drop. Stinkbugs are attracted to the plants when the
seeds develop. These include the southern green stinkbug,
Nezara viridula (Linnaeus), and the brown stinkbug, Euschistus
Insects may be present every year, but it is not necessary to
contend with each species every year.
'Entomologist, Florida Agricultural Experiment Station.
Several species of lepidopterous larvae having cutworm habits
attack soybeans. These include the black cutworm, Agrotis ipsi-
lon (Hufnagel), the granulate cutworm, Feltia subterranean
(Fabricius), and the Southern armyworm, Prodenia eridania
(Cramer), which also is a foliage feeder. Cutworms are rarely
observed in large numbers, and no estimates are available as to
the amount of damage these insects cause.
Cutworm injury results when the caterpillars cut off the seed-
ling plants at or just beneath the soil surface. Sometimes the
young plant will be partly drawn into the ground. One cutworm
in a single night is capable of destroying three or four plants;
during the day, the worms remain beneath the soil surface,
usually near a plant. Severe infestations may reduce plant
stands so that replanting is necessary. This frequently happens
when cutworms invade fields from adjacent crops or weeds.
Cutworms when full grown are about 11,' inches in length and
14 inch in width. They are smooth, are cylindrical in shape, and
resemble in color the soil in which they hide during the day.
Different species of cutworm moths are similar in appearance.
They are grayish or dull-brownish with the front pair of wings
usually crossed with four or five irregular white lines. They
have a wing spread of about 2 inches. The eggs usually are laid
on weeds and grasses. Clean cultivation will eliminate egg laying
sites and destroy eggs already present. Insecticides applied as
baits provide the best control for seedling plants, although pre-
ventive pre-planting applications are also effective.
Lesser Cornstalk Borer
This insect is distributed throughout Florida but is most im-
portant in areas of light sandy soils and during extended dry
periods. Infestations are sporadic, with young plants most likely
to be attacked during dry periods. The larvae bore into the
seedling plants, causing them to die. Infestations are often con-
fined to the sandy areas of a field. First evidence of injury is
the wilted condition of the seedling plant. Since plants will con-
tinue to die over a period of 10 days, the actual severity of the
pest is seldom recognized. The injured plants also bear a close
similarity to those killed by damping-off fungi.
The fully grown larva is about 5/8 inch long (Figure 1). The
body is a bluish green color with the head a shiny brownish
black. It has a series of dark brown irregular perpendicular
stripes. When placed in the palm of the hand, the larva usually
Figure 1.-Larva of the lesser
Figure 2.-Lesser cornstalk borer injury to seedling plant. Silk tube attached
at exit hole.
wriggles free by vigorous body contortions.
The adult is a small brownish nondescript moth which is
rarely observed in the field. The female moth deposits its eggs
at or near ground level on the seedling plants. The egg hatches
in three days under summer conditions, in Gainesville, and the
tiny larva bores its way into the stem and tunnels upward within
the stem for several inches. The bud leaves on infested plants
wilt and die, and eventually the entire plant dies. The larva
constructs a tube of silk and sand particles which extends from
the entrance hole into the soil (Figure 2), and withdraws into
the tube when not feeding or when disturbed. It molts five times,
increasing in size with each molt. The larvae may reach ma-
turity in as little as 14 days during the summer months. The
transformation from the larval stage to the pupa takes place in
the soil, and the pupal period requires 7 to 10 days during late
Because of the subterranean habitat of the larva, this insect
often has been overlooked as a pest and its damage attributed to
other causes. The larva is a general feeder; host plants include
bean, corn, cowpea, chufa, Johnsongrass, lupine, peanut, sorg-
hum, and sugar cane.
There is an apparent correlation between crop residues in the
field prior to planting and the severity of the infestation. Plow-
ing under the natural host food material and immediately plant-
ing a susceptible crop often results in the larvae present concen-
trating their feeding on the emerging seedling plants. Sufficient
time should elapse between turning under infested plants and the
planting of soybeans to permit decomposition of the crop residue
and starvation of the larvae present. Keeping land free of weed
growth by tillage for several weeks prior to planting will often
depress the borer population to non-economic levels.
Control with chemicals has been unsatisfactory when applied
after the larva has tunneled into the plant and constructed its
silken tube. Successful control depends on preventive applica-
tions of insecticides, and these should be applied broadcast in ad-
vance of planting.
Mexican Bean Beetle
This lady beetle is unusual because it is destructive, while most
other lady beetles are beneficial. Both the larvae and adults feed
on the foilage. The larvae feed almost entirely on the undersides
of the leaves, eating off the lower epidermal tissue. Damaged
leaves have a skeletonized appearance (Figure 3), and often dry
up and drop from the plant. When economic infestations requir-
ing control occur, it is usually during the early growing period
Figure :.-Mexican bean beetle damage to foliage.
and in isolated patches throughout the field. All varieties of bush
beans and some southern peas are attacked.
The pale orange eggs are laid in clusters of 5 to 25 on the
lower surface of the leaves. The eggs hatch into yellowish larvae
which vary in size from 1/8 to about 1/3 inch when full grown.
The larvae are covered with six rows of black-tipped branched
spines. The mature larvae transform into yellowish pupae which
are attached to the underside of the leaf. The adults are yellow
to light brown and have 16 black spots arranged in three rows
on the wing covers. They are about 1/4 inch in length and greatly
convex on the upper side. The entire life cycle is completed in
about one month.
Frequently, damage from the velvetbean caterpillar is severe
(Figure 4). In some fields the entire seed crop may be destroyed,
although the severity of the infestation varies from year to year
and locality to locality. Injury appears to be related to the size
of the field. The larger the field, the greater the injury, usually
because of the lack of natural enemies.
The larvae feed on the foliage and often strip the plants com-
pletely (Figure 5). They also feed on the pods (Figure 6) and
may cause the young pods to become distorted and drop off. It
has been calculated that when plants are reaching maturity the
Figure 4.-Spray applied with mist blower protected soybeans in foreground
and on right from velvetbean caterpillar. This equipment circled the field and
little or no spray reached the center of the block.
Figure 5.-Plant foliage protected with insecticide. Outside plants treated;
Figure 6.-Velvetbean caterpillar feeding on pod.
loss of seven pods per foot of row on 38 to 40 inch rows equals
the loss of one bushel of beans per acre. The insect does not
survive the winter in northcentral Florida. Fields are reinfested
each summer by moths from the south. The adults or moths
make their appearance in Gainesville in late July or August, and
the larvae are abundant in early September. The heavy larval
attack occurs about the time of blossoming and often results in a
serious loss of seed pods (Figure 7).
Figure 7.-Foliage removed from treated (left) and untreated (right) plants
to show difference in number of seed pods.
The caterpillars seldom leave the plant on which they are
hatched. They feed night and day, stopping only to molt. Larvae
in the early instars lower themselves on a silken thread when
disturbed. The later instars when disturbed quickly throw
themselves to the ground with violent contortions.
Host plants other than soybeans include velvetbeans (Stizolo-
bium sp.), kudzu vine, and "horse bean" (Cannavalia sp.). Some
varieties of soybeans are evidently preferred over others by the
female moths for oviposition purposes. This preference seems to
be related to the hairiness of the foliage.
The eggs are white, spherical, and about 1/12 inch in dia-
meter. They are usually laid on the lower surfaces of mature
leaves and hatch in about three days. The larvae feed for two to
three weeks and undergo five molts. The mature larva enters the
soil, where it passes into the pupal stage. The pupal period
requires about 10 days.
The larva is 11 inches in length when full grown (Figure 8).
The general body color is extremely variable, being brownish
black in some specimens and a dull green in others. The head
is greenish yellow to orange. There are several near-white
longitudinal lines, one on the mid dorsum with two narrower ones
on the sides. Below these is a broad light band broken with nar-
row pink to brown lines. The larva has no conspicuous hairs.
The adults or moths are grayish brown but also very variable.
The moth has a wing spread of 11/ inches. It is rather easily dis-
tinguished from other moths about this size by the characteristic
dark line that extends diagonally across the wings (Figure 9).
Figure 8.-Velvetbean caterpillar.
Figure 9.-Moth of the velvetbean caterpillar.
Late in the season, the velvetbean caterpillar population
usually is wiped out by a disease commonly called "Chalking" or
"Cholera." This disease is caused by a fungus. Unfortunately,
the appearance of the fungus often occurs too late to provide
much protection to the crop. To become epidemic, the fungus
seems to require a prolonged, cool rainy period. Larvae killed
by the fungus remain attached to the plant. When handled, the
powdery spores brush off on the fingers and resemble chalk dust.
In addition to larvae of the velvetbean caterpillar and cut-
worms, those of several other moths are frequently found feeding
on soybean foliage. They are rarely observed in sufficient num-
bers to justify control measures for individual species; how-
ever, collectively they can cause considerable damage. These
include the bean leaf roller, the cabbage looper, the corn ear-
worm, and the fall armyworm, Spodoptera frugiperda (J. E.
Smith). Of these the corn earworm and cabbage looper are most
often found in injurious numbers. Both of these larvae appear
well in advance of the velvetbean caterpillar. Both have a wide
range of host plants and are more or less active the year round
The mature corn earworm larva is about 12/3 inches in length.
The body is much broader than that of the velvetbean caterpillar
and is covered with numerous wart-like tubercles. The color
varies from light green to brown to almost black. Narrow
whitish lines alternating with dark stripes run lengthwise of the
body. They are much lighter on the underside. The cabbage
looper, sometimes called an inch worm, is about 11,/ inches long,
and the body tapers toward the head. It is a light green with
two light lines near the middle of the back and a thin white line
along each side. The larva has three pairs of slender legs near
the head and three pairs of fleshy thicker prolegs on the posterior
third. The middle half of the body is without legs, and this part
of the body is humped up to form a loop when the insect moves.
Although considerable damage is done by this group of cater-
pillars eating the foliage, the plants tolerate extensive feeding
without serious reduction in yield. Also, parasites and predators
are usually able to keep them in check until about the time
the velvetbean caterpillar appears. Ordinarily, insecticidal treat-
ments are not necessary; and for this reason, the caterpillars are
grouped together. In the event that a severe infestation of these
caterpillars damages the pods, control is a necessity. They can be
controlled effectively with carbaryl.
Stinkbugs are always a threat to the yield and quality of soy-
beans. The southern green stinkbug and the brown stinkbug are
the important species.
Both the nymphs and adult stinkbugs have sucking mouth-
parts. Injury results when they insert their needle-like beaks
through the pod into the seed and suck out the cell contents of
the developing seed. Initially, stinkbugs feeding on young pods
cause the pods to drop. Later their feeding causes the seeds to
abort while the seed pods hang on. Finally, their feeding
produces partly empty cells in the seed which appear externally
as irregular, white, bleached areas. The seed coat is usually
shrunken and wrinkled in the punctured area. A small "wart"
generally is found on the pod at the point where it was punc-
tured. Sometimes this point appears as a black or brown dis-
Stinkbugs feed on a variety of vegetables, fruits, ornamentals,
weeds, and grasses, and populations are usually at a high level
during the soybean growing period.
The adults of the southern green stinkbug are about 1,A inch
in length, broadly oval, flattened, and as the name suggests are
green (Figure 10). The front pair of wings is thickened except
for the membranous tip. They are folded flat over the back when
at rest with the membranes overlapping. There is a large
triangular area between the wings. At the base of the triangular
area are three or four whitish spots.
Stinkbugs lay their eggs in neat rows in clusters of 60 to 100,
usually on the lower surface of the leaf (Figure 11). Each fe-
male produces eggs for three to four weeks and may lay from
200 to 250 during her life. The eggs hatch in 7 to 10 days during
summer. The young bugs remain in a cluster for several days.
The young stinkbug develops an elastic body wall beneath the
old one. As the immature bug or nymph increases in size, the
old body wall stretches and finally breaks open along the back,
and the insect emerges. The newly molted bug increases in size
before the new body wall hardens. Usually five such molts, or
increases in size, occur before the adult stage. There are several
generations a year, and the bugs are present the year round in
Two species of grasshoppers sometimes cause injury to soy-
beans. The Southern red-legged grasshopper, Melanoplus femur-
Figure I .-Stinkbug eggs and nymphal instars.
rubrum propinquus Scudder, and the large American grasshop-
per, Schistocerca americana (Drury), invade soybeans from
surrounding areas. Extensive damage is rare, because the
winged forms are not ravenous feeders. Damage is usually re-
stricted to the margin of the field.
The red-legged grasshopper is about 1 inch in length when full
grown. The body is brownish-red above and greenish below.
The long slender part of the hind legs is a deep red color and
has numerous dark spines. The American or bird grasshopper
(Figure 12) is one of our larger species. Measured from head
to tip of folded wings, the females are over 2/2 inches, while the
males are about 2 inches in length. The general body color is a
reddish brown. A prominent light yellowish line on the back
extends from the head almost to the tip of the wings.
Insect Control Recommendations
Soybeans should be inspected frequently for insects. When andi
how the insecticides are used is extremely important. The
materials recommended in Table 1 have proved their worth, and
they can be depended upon for consistently satisfactory results
if they are used at the right times and properly applied. They
were selected considering their safety to the user and to the
plant as well as their effectiveness in controlling the pests. It is
Table 1.-Soybean insect control recommendations.
Min. Days from
Insect Insecticide Formulation Rate Act./A to Harvest Remarks
Lesser Corn- Diazinon W.P.* or E. C.** 1 lb. Infestations are erratic and
stalk Borer Applied broadcast cannot he predicted. It is
before planting doubtful that routine control
measures are economically
Aldrin E. C. 3% lb. Apply as 4" band over the
row as the seedlings break
ground. Do not follow
treated crop with root crop.
Cutworms Chlordane plus 2% + 4% Bait Broadcast over the infested
Mexican Bean Carbaryl (Sevin) Dust or W.P. 1-11/2 lb. 0 Sevin is a persistent material
Beetle Malathion Dust or E. C. 11/ lb. 1-3 but has no treatment-to-har-
Methyl Parathion Dust or E. C. 12 lb. 20 vest time restriction.
Velvetbean Carbaryl (Sevin) Dust or W.P. 1-11/ lb. 0 This insect usually is not a
Caterpillar Malathion Dust or E. C. 1-11/ lb. 1-3 problem until blossoming.
Methyl Parathion Dust or E. C. 1/2-1 lb. 20
Toxaphene Dust or E. C. 2 lbs. 21
TDE Dust or E. C. 1 lb. 28
Armyworms, Carbaryl (Sevin) Dust or W.P. 1-112 lb. 0
Loopers, and Methyl Parathion Dust or E. C. 1/-1 lb. 20
other Cater- Toxaphene Dust or E. C. 2 lbs. 21
Grasshoppers Carbaryl (Sevin) Dust or W.P. 1-11/2 lb. 0 May move in from adjacent
Methyl Parathion Dust or E. C. 1/2-1 lb. 20 crops. Damage occurs along
margin of field.
Stinkbugs Carbaryl (Sevin) Dust or W. P. 1-11/ lb. May move in from adjacent
Methyl Parathion Dust or E. C. 1-1 lb. 20 crops or weedy ditch banks.
*=Wettable powder **-=Emulsifiable concentrate
Figure 12.-Adult American or bird grasshopper.
also important that the correct amounts of dusts or sprays be
used, and that distribution and coverage be as thorough as
Control of the pests of seedling plants is difficult; whereas the
defoliating insects on larger plants can be easily controlled.
To insure having up-to-date information, it is suggested that
growers consult with their county agents regarding recom-
mendations. The county agent will have information concerning
conditions in the specific area as well as being able to provide in-
formation which will avoid residue problems.
Nearly all insecticides are poisonous to humans. Use them
only when needed, and handle with extreme care. In handling
any insecticide, avoid repeated and prolonged contact with skin
and inhalation of dusts or sprays. Observe carefully the safety
restrictions given on the label. Do not exceed the recommended
dosages. Avoid drift of sprays or dusts to nearby crops or live-
stock. Store insecticides in their original containers, away from
food, and inaccessible to children. Make it a practice to read the
label on the container before using a pesticide.
Plant injury resulting from insecticidal applications is rarely
observed on soybeans in the field. In instances where injury has
been observed, the insecticide was applied at appreciably higher
rates than recommended or faulty equipment had been used to
make the application.
The author wishes to express his thanks to W. G. Genung,
Everglades Experiment Station, for his assistance and the photo-
graphs used in Figures 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 10, 11, and 12. Also to Dr.
J. W. Wilson, Central Florida Experiment Station, for his advice.
1. Calvo, J. R. 1966. Biology and Control of the Lesser Cornstalk Borer,
Elasmopalpus lignosellus (Zeller). Doctoral Dissertation, Univ. of
2. Watson, J. R. 1916. Control of the Velvetbean Caterpillar. U of F.
Agr. Exp. Sta. Bull. 130.
3. Watson, J. R. 1916. Life-History of the Velvetbean Caterpillar (Anti-
carsia gemmatilis Hiibner). Econ. Entomol. Vol. 9, 521-528.
4. U. S. Department of Agriculture. 1953. The Velvetbean Caterpillar-
How to control it. USDA Leaflet 348.
2. Nematodes and Their Control
V. G. Perry1
Soybeans may be attacked by several types of nematode para-
sites in Florida. For example, root-knot and root lesion nema-
todes enter the roots and feed on internal cells and tissues; sting
and stubby root nematodes feed externally, usually near root
tips, and never enter the roots; and spiral nematodes feed with
about one third to one half of the body inserted into the roots.
The degree of injury varies with the type of nematode, its con-
centration, and the resistance or tolerance of the soybean variety.
Any of the parasitic forms may cause severe injury when large
numbers are present at or soon after planting. Even the most
injurious forms will cause less damage if high population levels
occur only after root systems are established. Thus, control
measures, when required, should be applied at or before planting
for maximum benefits.
The symptoms of nematode injury vary with the type of
nematode and, to some extent, with weather conditions. How-
ever, some general symptoms may indicate nematode injury. The
most common symptom is the stunting of plants, particularly
during early growth, but since nematode populations are seldom
evenly distributed throughout a field stunting and other symp-
toms will be spotty. Affected plants tend to wilt even though
sufficient moisture is present in the soil. Some parasitized plants
exhibit deficiency symptoms such as yellowing of the foliage;
these deficiency symptoms are exaggerated when the soil is low
in some elements such as nitrogen and iron. Root symptoms are
dependent upon the particular parasite or parasites present and
sometimes vary because of secondary infections by fungi and
Present information indicates that the root-knot nematodes of
the genus Meloidogyne cause damage to soybeans in Florida more
frequently than any of the others. The species M. incognita and
M. javanica apparently are responsible for most of the root knot
on soybeans in Florida, but other species are found in some fields.
The root-knot nematode larvae enter very near the tips of host
roots. Soon after penetration the young larvae begin to grow,
and their bodies eventually become somewhat pear shaped. Be-
cause they are unable to move after the body begins to swell,
their livelihood depends upon the host root remaining alive.
Soon after the parasite begins to feed, plant cells in the vicinity
'Nematologist, Department of Entomology
of the head begin to enlarge and eventually form "giant" or "nec-
tarial" cells. Feeding also stimulates the plants to produce more
cells. Thus, the plant root becomes enlarged to form the knots or
galls typical for this parasite. Damage to the above-ground part
of the plant is caused by the disruption of conducting elements
of infected roots by the parasite and its associated giant cells,
which interferes with the uptake of water and nutrients. If
enough roots are so affected, stunting, chlorosis, and wilting
Meanwhile the parasites mature into the two sexes, which may
or may not mate. If mating does not occur, the females reproduce
by parthenogenesis. Under favorable conditions, each female
produces an average of 300 to 500 eggs. These eggs are deposited
within a gelatinous matrix laid down by each female. Many fe-
males are positioned so that the eggs are deposited at or near the
outer surface of the root gall. Some eggs hatch immediately, and
the larvae attack either tissues of the gall already formed or
move to new root tips. Other eggs do not hatch until the follow-
ing season or year. Under favorable conditions the life cycle is
completed in about 3 weeks.
Cyst nematodes of the genus Heterodera are similar in many
respects to root-knot nematodes. The soybean cyst nematode,
Heterodera glycines, was identified in Florida for the first time
on August 30, 1967. Severe stunting of soybean plants by this
parasite has been observed in Escambia County. Every pre-
caution possible should be taken to prevent further spread on
machinery, shoes, or any other item exposed to infested fields.
Crop rotations and clean cultivation must be practiced for eco-
nomic production in infested fields. The Pickett variety (see
page 55) is resistant to the soybean cyst nematode. All available
information indicates Pickett can be used as one of the resistant
crops in the rotation. Consult forthcoming publications for de-
Several other nematode pests of soybeans occur in Florida, but
information concerning their relative importance is lacking.
Root lesion nematodes of the genus Pratylenchus have been re-
ported on soybeans, but large numbers have not as yet been
found on this crop in Florida. Large numbers frequently occur
on corn and tobacco; therefore, soybeans that follow these crops
may have more root lesion nematodes. These parasites enter
roots and feed internally but, unlike root-knot nematodes, move
through and between cells. They tend to concentrate in certain
places and cause discolored areas or lesions; hence the name
"root lesion" nematode. Eggs are deposited individually inside
the roots. The life cycle requires about 4 weeks.
Among the ectoparasites, the sting nematode Bclonolaimts
longiccadatvs is regarded as the most important on soybeans in
Florida. This pest is usually limited to sandy soils. It is a rela-
tively long nematode which feeds primarily at root tips. Growth
of the root tips ceases soon after feeding commences. The plant
responds by initiating lateral roots which are in turn fed upon in
the same manner. These lateral root tips are frequently at-
tacked as soon as they emerge, and necrotic areas develop along
the older root. Thus, root systems attacked by the sting nematode
are short and shallow. The roots have a typical stubby ap-
pearance, and because of an excess of lateral roots some "witches
broom" symptoms may develop.
The stubby root nematode Trichodorus christici may also cause
damage to soybeans. It is much smaller in size than the sting
nematode but feeds in much the same manner and symptoms
Certain lance nematodes of the genus Hoplolatimus, spiral
nematodes of the genus Helicotylenchls, and several others are
also found on soybeans in Florida. Little is known of the extent
of damage any of these may cause to soybeans; however damage
may be significant in some fields.
At present, control of the nematode pests of soybeans in Florida
is primarily aimed at control of root knot. The most practical
means of control is the use of resistant varieties. No soybean
varieties are immune, but some have much more resistance than
others. Varieties with resistance to root knot will not necessarily
be resistant to other nematodes. Also the resistant varieties may
be damaged when very large populations of root-knot nematodes
Another means for controlling root-knot nematodes is that of
crop rotation. These species have wide host ranges which include
many crop plants, weeds, and grasses. Thus crops and varieties
must be carefully chosen and fairly clean cultivation must be
practiced if this means of control is to be successful. Several
crop plants such as potato, cotton, and corn are hosts for root-
knot nematodes but usually support only low populations. Pea-
nuts are not attacked by the species most frequently found on
soybeans but will support large populations of M. arenaria,
which also attacks soybeans.
The most dependable and most effective means of nematode
control at present is the use of chemical nematicides prior to
planting. Several effective chemicals are available, but the cost
of some prohibits their use for soybeans. The price of others is
such that application should be limited to "row fumigation."
Three nematicidal chemicals presently recommended for use on
soybeans are (a) dichloropropane dichloropropene; (b) ethy-
lene dibromide (EDB), and (c) dibromochloropropane (DBCP).
Each is marketed under different trade names. The first is
formulated as a mixture of the two chemicals and is considered
100% active, although dichloropropene is more effective. EDB
is most commonly marketed as an 85% by weight mixture. DBCP
is available in several formulations, both granular liquid.
For best results each of the three materials should be applied
10 to 14 days before planting. Longer periods are necessary to
prevent injury to the seeds or young plants if the soil is cool
and/or wet. In row fumigation the material is placed, usually by
injection, 6 and preferably 8 inches beneath the soil surface. This
may be conveniently accomplished when the rows are "bedded."
Since effective nematode control is limited to a radius of 6 inches
from the point of injection, the seeds must be planted directly
over the point of injection. At the time of application, the soil
should be loose and friable with few clods or undecayed plant
material. The moisture content should be about the same as is
desired for planting. Some type of drag or packer should be used
to immediately seal the furrow made by the plow shank when
the fumigant is injected.
Rates per acre vary with the different chemicals, soil types,
and row spacings. Rates recommended for 36-inch rows on
sandy soils are given in Table 1. The last two columns also apply
to other row spacings. For organic soils, these rates must be
increased by at least 50%. If considerable clay is present, the
rate should also be increased. Fortunately, at present, the
nematode problems of soybeans on organic soils do not appear
to be serious, but with continued planting, this may change.
Table 1.-Rates of 3 nematicides recommended for use prior to planting soy-
beans on sandy soils in Florida.*
Formulation Rate in ml Linear Feet
Percent Active Gallons/A in per 100 ft. per Quart
Chemical by Weight 36-inch Rows of Row of Chemical
1. dichloropropane- 100 7 8 190 500
2. ethylene dibromide 85 1% 2 45 2100
3. dibromochloro- 70 1 1 26-40 3650-2360
*Prices vary but the cost of materials is about $10 per acre.
Several chemicals in addition to those listed in Table 1 show
promise for use as nematicides on soybeans. These are either
still in the experimental stage or else have not been approved
for use on soybeans. Most of the newer compounds are non-
fumigants, and the most promising are organic phosphates. Some
have given excellent control at very low rates when applied to
the soil surface immediately prior to planting. These will be
recommended when and if they are cleared for use on soybeans.
1. West Florida
C. E. Hutton1
The part of Florida for which these recommendations are
written covers an area from Jefferson County westward to the
Alabama line. At the present time, the majority of the soybeans
grown in Florida are grown in the three western counties,
Escambia, Santa Rosa, and Okaloosa, and these recommendations
will fit the soils and climatic conditions in this area more ac-
curately than those in the area further east.
The soils of this area lie in the Coastal Plain province and are
composed of unconsolidated sands, silts, and clays which were
deposited under water before the continental mainland reached
its present location. The topography of this area is generally
level to gently rolling, but there are areas where steeper slopes
occur and many ponded areas where drainage is quite poor. The
texture of the surface soils varies from sands through loamy
sands to fine sandy loams. Subsoil textures vary from sands to
The soybean plant requires that its root system grow in a soil
material which has good aeration. If the soybean root zone is
waterlogged over an extensive period of time (three days or
more), the plant will usually die. For this reason, the poorly
drained soils are not recommended for soybean production.
However, with proper artificial drainage, these soils may grow
excellent beans. At the same time, the soybean requires an
ample supply of moisture for growth and will produce best when
there is ample and well distributed moisture during and after
the blooming period. For this reason, unless rainfall provides
ample moisture over the bloom and pod development period, the
sands will not produce optimum yields of beans. This leaves a
broad group of soils which are well drained, moderately well
drained, or somewhat poorly drained, which are best suited for
soybean production. It should be stressed again that soybeans
will produce better when grown on level areas of land where
moisture can be absorbed and stored and that, generally speak-
ing, sloping areas where runoff is excessive are not best suited
for good soybean production. Soils belonging to the following
soils series, which meet the conditions stated above, should be
suitable for soybean production: Irvington, Tifton, Carnegie,
'Soils Chemist and Head, West Florida Experiment Station, Jay, Florida.
tion each year may be practiced if desired.
Dunbar, Dublin, Marlboro, Faceville, Magnolia, Greenville,
Lynchburg, Goldsboro, Norfolk, Ruston, Orangeburg, Red Bay,
Lakeland, Eustis, and Americus. These soils have been listed
in a somewhat descending order of desirability so far as soybean
production is concerned. For the most part, the Irvington, Tif-
ton, Carnegie, Marlboro, Faceville, Magnolia, Greenville, Nor-
folk, Ruston, and Orangeburg series will constitute the majority
of the acreage of soils which are most suited to good bean produc-
tion. It is suggested that you contact your county agent or con-
sult your Soil Conservation Service technician if you are not
familiar with the soil types on your farm where beans are to be
grown. Soil Management and Fertilization
The soils in western Florida under virgin conditions are very
low in most plant nutrients. Plants grown on these soils respond
more to phosphorus than to any of the other nutrients. Generally
speaking, the virgin soils have an ample potash supply for the
growth of soybeans, but soils which have been cropped for many
years without proper potassium fertilization are often low in
this nutrient. Dolomitic limestone should be applied to provide
an ample supply of calcium and magnesium for optimum soy-
bean growth. An ample supply of the micro-nutrients is avail-
able for good soybean growth with the possible exception of
zinc. Zinc has increased yields where soils have been under cul-
tivation for many years and/or where limestone has been ap-
plied in excessive quantities.
Many of the soils of the western Florida area which have
been in cultivation for a number of years now have a residual
fertility which is medium to high in its nutrient supplying power.
These soils have been found to hold phosphorus, potassium, cal-
cium, magnesium, and the minor elements when they have not
been used by current crops and to give these elements up to
succeeding crops over a period of years. The soybean, like the
peanut, favors this type of residual fertility for optimum produc-
tion. It is strongly recommended that the soil testing service
available at the University of Florida be used to determine the
amounts of residual fertility in the soil when planning a fertility
program for soybean production. The soils should be limed to
a pH of approximately 5.9. When soybeans are grown for the
first time, the seed should be properly inoculated for nodule
production. Generally, additional inoculation in succeeding
years is not required unless soybeans are not again grown on the
soil for a number of years, but, as an insurance factor, inocula-
Small grains such as wheat, oats, or rye may be grown on
soybean land during the winter and spring so that two crops may
be harvested from each acre every year. It is sometimes difficult
to harvest the small grain in time to plant the soybeans during
the optimum planting period, and, for this reason, it may be
desirable to fallow or graze some of the soybean acreage during
the winter time.
If a soybean-small grain rotation is practiced, it is recom-
mended that approximately 1000 pounds of 0-14-14 be applied
annually prior to planting the wheat in the fall and that no fer-
tilizer be applied prior to the soybean planting. If the grower
plans to graze the small grain, nitrogen will be needed at the time
the small grain is planted. If a small grain is not planted it is
recommended that approximately 600 pounds of 0-14-14 be ap-
plied broadcast and disked in prior to the planting of soybeans
and that no fertilizer be applied in the row with the bean seed. It
is recommended that 10 pounds of zinc oxide equivalent be ap-
plied broadcast each time the soil is limed.
There are a number of varieties of soybeans which will produce
good yields for the grower. Of these, the Hood, Jackson, Bragg,
Figure 1.-Well-fertilized soybeans at the West Florida Experiment Station.
Hampton, and Lee varieties are superior. The Lee variety is
recommended only on the heavier textured soils, such as Irving-
ton, Dunbar, Dublin, Lynchburg, and Goldsboro. The other
varieties will produce good yields of beans on any of the soils
suitable for bean production. These varieties have been described
elsewhere in this publication, and the reader is referred to this
section for a complete description.
The results of many years of experimental data on planting
of soybeans has shown that the period from May 15 to June 15 is
the optimum planting time in the western Florida area. Beans
planted before May 15 and after June 15 will not grow as tall
nor produce as many pods as beans planted during this optimum
planting period. Beans may be planted after June 15 with good
results providing weather conditions are optimum during and
after blooming. Decrease in yield for beans planted between
June 15 and July 1 is not extreme, but after July 1, in most years,
yields will be drastically reduced unless optimum conditions
occur during the later summer season.
Soybeans are like other row crops in that optimum yields are
obtained when weed competition is negligible. Research in weed
control at the West Florida Station conducted over a period of
several years has shown the following treatments give satisfac-
tory control of weeds in soybeans: Treflan, 1/' pound per acre;
Weed Beans, 20 pounds per acre; Karmex, 1.5 to 2.0 pounds per
acre; Lorox, 2.0 to 2.5 pounds per acre; Dinitro, 6.0 pounds per
acre; Dinitro plus Diphenamid, 3 pounds of each per acre. It is
recommended that growers contact their county agent for cur-
rent information on weed control.
There are a number of insects which cause damage to the
leaves and pods of soybeans in this area. These include the
stinkbug, pod worm, the fall armyworm species, the corn ear
worm, and the velvetbean caterpillar. The pod worm, velvetbean
caterpillar, and stinkbug are the most destructive of the insects.
Unless close surveillance is maintained, the pod worm may re-
move a great number of pods when they are very small. At a
later stage, the velvetbean caterpillar may defoliate the plant,
and the stinkbug will puncture the maturing pods. All of these
insects can cause serious economic loss to the grower, and a
small amount of attention at the proper time will pay large
dividends in most years. Check with your county agent for
current insect control measures.
Dates at which harvest may be expected have been covered in
the description of the soybean varieties in another part of this
bulletin. Although the varieties recommended for this area do
not shatter, they should be harvested immediately upon the
dropping of all the leaves and the browning of the seed pod.
Occasional extended periods of rainfall and/or hurricanes may
cause molding or rotting of the seed, and an early harvest may
prevent losses in yield and quality.
2. Northcentral Florida
H. W. Lundy1
Soybean variety trials have been conducted each year at
Gainesville since 1953 and at Live Oak since 1956. Yields of the
best adapted varieties were always at levels that would return a
profit to farmers. Better varieties have become available since
trials were started. When the soybeans were grown on good soil
and rainfall distribution was good, the best varieties yielded
more than 45 bushels per acre. Therefore, there seems to be no
doubt that soybean production can be profitable in much of
northcentral Florida, provided proper precautions are taken.
Recommendations for northcentral Florida follow. Many points
included are discussed in detail in other parts of this bulletin.
Soil Management and Fertilization
Choose your best soils for the first soybean crops and be
governed by experience in expanding, acreage onto less produc-
tive fields. Northcentral Florida soils are mostly sands and fine
sands that vary in productivity, primarily because of differences
in relative nutrient and water-holding capacities. Plantings
made on a wide range of these soils have produced satisfactory
crops of soybeans when good production practices were followed.
Occasional crop failures have occurred, which can be attributed
in part to a poor choice of fields but mostly to poor production
Apply enough dolomitic limestone to raise the soil pH to 6.0 to
6.2. It takes about 2 tons of lime to raise the pH from 5.0 to
6.0 on average northcentral Florida soils. Use soil test results to
determine the proper amount. Lime application should precede
soybean planting by several months to allow time for it to become
effective. Additional applications of lime will be required every
3 to 5 years to maintain the proper pH. Lime requirements must
be met to make profitable yields.
Apply fertilizer according to soil test results and nutrient
requirements discussed earlier in this bulletin. Properly nodu-
lated soybeans on limed soils obtain all the nitrogen they need
from nodules on the roots. Four hundred to 500 pounds per
acre of 0-10-20 will satisfy the phosphorus and potassium re-
quirements on average soils. Responses to minor element mix-
tures have not been large but may often be more than enough
to justify the expense. Ten to 15 pounds per acre is recom-
'Associate Agronomist and Head, Suwannee Valley Experiment Station,
Live Oak, Florida
Figure I.-Dr. Kuell Hinson inspects new soybean breeding lines at Gainesville.
Figure 2.-Combining Bragg soybeans that yielded 40 bushels per acre.
mended. Fertilizer manufacturers mix minor elements with
standard fertilizers at no additional expense above the cost of
Never place fertilizer in direct contact with the seed. Potash
is injurious to germinating soybeans. Band applications are
satisfactory if the fertilizer is placed 2 inches to the side and 2
inches below the seed. Broadcast applications usually require
no more total time, are safer, and give as good yields as row
On the finer-textured soils, soybeans may respond as well to
additional fertilizer applied to the preceding winter or spring
crop as to direct applications, provided the preceding crop re-
ceives 800 pounds per acre or more. However, this practice may
be more hazardous on coarse-textured soils because of the possi-
bility for leaching.
Select the variety best adapted to your conditions and plant the
best quality seed obtainable. Hardee is well adapted to the
mineral soils of northcentral and central Florida. Bragg also
performs well, but it should be grown on the better soil until the
grower gains experience with soybean production. Bragg ma-
tures about 10 days earlier than Hardee; therefore, is not
adapted as far south. Growers with larger acreages can extend
their optimum harvest period by dividing their acreage between
the two varieties. Hampton should be the third choice among
varieties now available.
Plant good quality seed about 11/2 inches deep on a moist,
weed-free seedbed. Use a standard corn planter with plates that
will plant 10 to 12 seeds per foot of row. A good row spacing is
36 inches. Higher yields may be obtained from narrower rows
if late planting, poor soil, or some other factor seriously limits
plant growth. With average sized seed in standard row widths,
the planting rate will be about one bushel per acre or slightly
Plant at the first good opportunity after June 1. Plantings
made the last half of May are productive but often face more
hazards from drought and insects than June plantings. June 1 to
15 is considered the best planting time. Yields begin to decline
in plantings made after June 15 and decline rather rapidly in
plantings made after July 1. Although late planting reduces
yield it is better to delay planting than to plant in dry soil or in
a weedy field.
Inoculate planting seed with inoculum prepared especially for
soybeans unless the proper bacteria are known to be present in
the soil. Locally produced inoculum has given best results.
Moisten seed before applying inoculum, and plant before seed-
coats have completely dried. Avoid exposing inoculum to sun-
light or high temperature. Once a field is well infested with
soybean nodulating bacteria, no additional inoculation is required
unless soybeans are not grown on the field for several years.
Molybdenum compounds, mixed with the inoculum, have re-
duced nodulation in laboratory experiments. Some soybean fields
in Suwannee County that were inoculated in 1965 with inoculum
containing molybdenum were very poorly nodulated. If molyb-
denum is to be used, it should be obtained separate from the
inoculum. Both can be coated on the seed immediately before
Good weed control will avoid yield loss from competition, re-
duce harvesting loss, and give better quality seed. In north-
central Florida mechanical weed control appears to give better
results than any herbicide now available. The rotary hoe is
excellent when the beans are 3 to 4 inches tall. Two additional
cultivations with sweeps usually will be needed. It is very im-
portant to kill weeds in the row during the first and second
cultivation. The shading effect of a good stand of soybeans
usually prevents any further weed development in the row. A
third cultivation may be needed to control weeds in middles.
Be prepared to apply insecticides. Lesser cornstalk borers
may reduce stands during dry weather when plants are small.
Armyworms and velvetbean caterpillars, which eat leaves, may
become a problem anytime during the growing season, but are
more common in August and early September. Stinkbugs and
corn earworms are more destructive after pods set. Stinkbugs
are potentially very destructive because their damage may go
unnoticed by an inexperienced observer. Stinkbugs puncture
pods and suck juice from seeds. If this occurs when pods are
small, the entire pod will drop. Later stinkbug attacks result in
aborted or damaged seed. One or more insecticide applications
will be needed most years to control these insects pests. Consult
the section of this bulletin dealing with insects for control
methods. County agents should know of new insecticides as
they become available.
Harvest as soon as possible after plants are mature. Delayed
harvest causes yield loss and poorer seed quality. Adjust com-
bines carefully to avoid damaging seed during combining. The
instruction manual obtained with the combine should be carefully