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A major agronomic objective for commercial soybean production is to reduce the minimum plant population required for optimal yield (i.e., minimal optimal plant population). This has occurred because seed cost, once a minor production expense, has become a major cost, accounting for about 42 percent of direct operating costs for an average U.S. soybean grower (U.S. Soy Crop Statistics, 2011).
Board, Jim; Kahlon, Charanjit; Harrell, Dustin; Udeigwe, Theophilus; Stapp, John; and Talbot, Tim, "Can Soybean Seeding Rates Be Reduced Without Affecting Yields in Louisiana? (Bulletin #892)" (2013). LSU AgCenter Bulletins. 4.