Every year, Beck’s Hybrids puts together a book of Practical Farm Research (PFR) with research from 10 locations across 15 states, most of which are located in the Corn Belt. The PFR Proven results highlight products and practices that have provided a positive yield gain every year and an average positive return on investment over a 3-year period. Assuming a no-tiller isn’t doing any of the following PFR Proven takeaways, Beck’s research points to the potential for an average $240.26 per acre return on investment by implementing these 4 strategies:

  1. Plant early (April 16-May 15) = +$146.49 per acre

    From Beck’s PFR: Soybean yields correlate with the number of nodes per acre. Nodes are the part of the stem where each leaf branches off. Earlier planting gives the plants an opportunity to put more nodes on each plant. Planting fewer plants per acre encourages each plant to increase branching, thus increasing nodes per acre.Five years of multi-location data indicate the power of early planting as every population planted early beat all populations planted later. Lighter soils, poorly drained soils, and narrower rows respond best to higher planting populations. The differences in the Economic Optimum Seeding Rate (EOSR) for each planting date are mainly driven by seed cost, not yield.

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    1. Use seed treatments = +$45 per acre

      From Beck’s PFR: As earlier planting dates tend to drive yield, seed treatments will play an increasingly more important role in protecting the plants from diseases and insects. (Editor’s note: This data shows the ROI of Escalate, which is a Beck’s product.)

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    2. Plant in 15-inch rows = +$31.09 per acre

      From Beck’s PFR: Narrower row widths capture more sunlight, especially when planted earlier, and help shade the rows for improved weed control.

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    3. Apply fungicide at R3 = +$17.68 per acre

      From Beck’s PFR: The R3 growth stage is the key time to apply a fungicide in soybeans. Soybeans have reached the R3 growth stage when there is a 3/16-inch pod at one of the top four fully developed nodes.

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