soybean, nitrogen, inoculation, fertilization, genotypes


The United States (US) and Argentina (ARG) account for more than 50% of the global soybean production. Soybean yields are determined by the genotype, environment, and management practices (G × E × M) interaction. Overall, 50-60% of soybean nitrogen (N) demand is usually met by the biological nitrogen fixation (BNF) process. An unanswered scientific question concerns the ability of BNF process to satisfy soybean N demand at varying yield levels. The overall objective of this project was to study the contribution of N via utilization of different N strategies, evaluating soybean genotypes released in different eras. Four field experiments were conducted during the 2016 season: Ottawa (east central Kansas, US), Ashland Bottoms (central Kansas, US), Rossville (central Kansas, US), and Oliveros (Santa Fe province, Argentina). A wide variety of historical and modern soybean genotypes were used (from the 1980s, 1990s, 2000s and 2010s release decades) in the US and ARG, all tested under three N management strategies (S1: non-N applied but inoculated, S2: all N provided by fertilizer, and S3: late-N applied) and all seeds inoculated. At Ottawa, the study was planted in an area without previous soybean history with yields ranging from 21 to 30 bu/a. Modern genotype (2010) increased yields by 15% relative to the other varieties. As related to the N management approach, higher yields occurred when the N nutrition was based on S2 (overall 10% increase). At Ashland Bottoms, yields ranged from 47 to 65 bu/a, and the 1990s variety out-yielded the rest of the varieties by 13%. There was not statistical significance for N management at this location. At Rossville, yields ranged from 37 to 85 bu/a, with higher yields observed for the modern genotype (released after 2010). Regarding N strategies, S2 increased yields by 18% compared to S1. At ARG, yield ranged from 40 to 74 bu/a, with modern soybean varieties (released after 2010) yielding 34% greater than the rest of the varieties. Nitrogen application S2 increased yields by 5% when compared to the S1 strategy. Relative to yield potential, yield levels in Argentina were similar to those in central Kansas (Ashland Bottoms and Rossville).


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