Development of six soybean management factsheets (Managing soybean for high yield, Optimum plant population in Iowa, Soybean planting date, Row spacing in soybean, Managing soybean cyst nematode, and Variety selection) in collaboration with the Iowa Soybean Association

Palle Pedersen, Faculty, Agronomy Department


Soybean production practices have changed a lot over the last decade because of lower prices and economy of scale production practices. New technologies and rising input costs have to be taken into consideration in the future to keep Iowa’s soybean producers competitive. An extensive research project was therefore conducted from 2004 to 2006, funded by the checkoff and the Iowa Soybean Association, to challenge all our recommendations in Iowa. Based on this project numerous recommendations were changed. The project resulted in several refereed journal articles. For Iowa soybean producers and their service providers, there were no good references that provided information on basic soybean management practices. Thus, Iowa Soybean Association and Iowa State University worked together to develop six fact sheets, based on the refereed journal articles, that provided valuable information and high quality photos to help soybean growers maximizing their yield and profitability.   


The objective was to develop six easy to read fact sheets based on data from my research program that address the most common management decisions that a soybean grower has to make every year. The fact sheets were printed on high quality paper that can resist soil and moisture so they can be used and read both inside but also outside. 


During the winter of 2007, the six fact sheets were written with the Iowa Soybean Association. The fact sheets were published in March of 2008. Copies of the field guide have been provided at no costs since the Iowa Soybean Association paid for the layout and printing. All 36,000 copies that were printed were distributed in a little bit less than three months. The fact sheets are also available as pdf files on the Iowa State University Soybean Extension web page ( and the average number of downloads of each fact sheets have been 324 since March.


The fact sheets remain the most popular extension materials since its printing in March. Because of this success the Iowa Soybean Association has decided to print more copies this fall. Response from private sector agronomists has been remarkable and the fact sheets have been used by numerous seed companies this summer to educate growers both in U.S. but also in Canada. Companies like Monsanto, Pioneer, and Syngenta have used them extensively this summer. Many letters and emails were received thanking me for writing these fact sheets with quotes like “These represent the best set of comprehensive management guides (by far) that I have seen from any university which address basic agronomic practices!


101 Agronomic Practices

102 Integrated Pest Management

Page last updated: September 3, 2008
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