Soybean School: Stick to first or second trifoliate when rolling soybeans

Rolling soybeans at third trifoliate produced quite a few plants with broken stems that will not recover.

OMAFRA soybean specialist Horst Bohner is back on his tractor and rolling soybeans for a second year as part of a multi-year research trial.

The fundamental idea behind the research is to somehow induce a response that will cause the soybean plant to become more bushy and produce more nodes. At meetings this winter, growers were intrigued by findings from the first year of Bohner’s soybean rolling trials, which showed a two-bushel yield response when beans were rolled first trifoliate. At later periods, yield response declined and yield was actually lost when the plants were rolled at third trifoliate.

In 2018, Bohner is replicating the research, which will see him compare non-rolled field trials to those rolled at first, second and third trifoliate. In this episode of RealAgriculture Soybean School, we catch up with him on the first day of summer as he is rolling soybeans at third trifoliate.

As he surveys this trial, Bohner is not comfortable with what he sees: “There are quite a few beans here that are broken off and won’t recover.” The video paints a clear picture of what can happen to soys when rolled at the later stage and confirms Bohner’s recommendation for growers. “It’s first, maybe second, trifoliate and then we are kinda out of the game,” he says.

Click here for more Soybean School episodes.


Bernard Tobin

Bernard Tobin is Real Agriculture's Ontario Field Editor. AgBern was raised on a dairy farm near St. John's, Newfoundland. For the past two decades, he has specialized in agricultural communications. A Ryerson University journalism grad, he kicked off his career with a seven-year stint as Managing Editor and Field Editor for Farm and Country magazine. He has received six Canadian Farm Writers' Federation awards for journalism excellence. He's also worked for two of Canada's leading agricultural communications firms, providing public relations, branding and strategic marketing. Bern also works for Guelph-based Synthesis Agri-Food Network and talks the Real Dirt on Farming.


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