Effects of soybean maturity, planting date, and irrigation on biomass, yield, and yield components in the Texas High Plains



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Abstract Soybean (Glycine max L.) was a rotational crop on the Texas High Plains from the 1950s to the 2000s. Soybean could be considered an alternative crop to corn (Zea mays L.) or sorghum (Sorghum bicolor L.) and is usually planted after a wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) harvest or after a failed early-growth cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.) crop to provide extra income for producers. In recent years, sugarcane aphids in sorghum have become a problem on the High Plains, and soybean could potentially replace sorghum in some rotations. With soybeans, additional herbicide modes-of-action can be utilized in a cotton rotation to help reduce weed populations while fixing nitrogen in the soils. Since soybean is not a crop recently grown in this region, this research aims to better understand the relationship between yield, planting date and four different maturity groups: 3.5, 4.0, 4.5, and 5.0. In 2017, planting date, maturity, and the interaction of planting date and maturity were statistically significant at P <0.05. In 2018, all factors (planting date, maturity, and irrigation) and all two-way interactions were significant on seed yield. Yield differences were found to be influenced by both seed size and seed number. The following factors and interactions all had an effect on seed number and seed size: maturity, planting, planting by irrigation, and maturity by irrigation. On the Texas High Plains, soybean can potentially be used in crop rotations and can be planted on any date from mid-May to mid-June with maturity groups 4.5 and 5.0. As soybean genetics have improved in the recent years, the potential to grow it as a rotation crop in the Texas High Plains should be considered again. Rainfall on the Texas High Plains is more limited than in typical soybean-producing areas, so a successful and cost-effective irrigation management strategy must be developed.



Soybeans, Planting date, Maturity, Yield, Irrigation