Agronomic studies on soybean glycine max l. merrill in the dry season of the tropics ii. interaction of sowing date and sowing density
Mayers, J.D.; Lawn, R.J.; Byth, D.E.
Australian Journal of Agricultural Research 42(7): 1093-1108
An analysis was undertaken of the development, growth and seed yield of irrigated soybean crops grown during the dry season in the semi-arid tropics of north-western Australia, to establish whether constraints to seed yield induced by precocious flowering could be overcome agronomically by manipulating sowing date and/or sowing density. Three agronomically improved cultivars and a later-flowering landrace cultivar were tested using irrigation, fertility and pest management practices designed to minimize constraints to yield. Maximum seed yields were 3.5-4.0 t ha-1, with large genotype .times. sowing date .times. sowing density interaction. Analysis of vegetative growth showed that higher sowing densities stimulated more rapid leaf area development and earlier canopy closure, and enhanced total biomass production. However, very high sowing densities were needed to maximize yields of most genotypes, while lodging precluded high yield being realized from the greater biomass production of high density sowings of the landrace genotype. Delaying sowing from April to June delayed flowering, increased biomass production and marginally enhanced yields, but not sufficiently to offset potential problems caused by maturation into hot dry conditions prior to the wet season. It was concluded that agronomic strategies alone were insufficient to overcome the constraints to yield of present soybean genotypes in the dry season.