Since 1924, soybean yields in the US have increased annually 0.34 bushels per acre nationally, according to a study by Brian Driers of the University of Illinois Department of Crop Sciences. The yield increases are a direct result of improved genetics, changes in agronomic practices as well as changes in growing conditions. Another finding in the study was that over the past nine decades, protein content in soybeans has increased by two percent while oil content has increased by about one percent. Driers and his assistants, in partnership with Glen Hartman, a US Department of Agriculture plant pathologist, found that resistance to pests has increased over time.
“What we can conclude from this study is the majority of the yield advancements that we’re seeing in farmers’ fields are the result of improved genetics,” Driers says. The research was funded by the Illinois Soybean Association and the United Soybean Board.
Read the full, original story here: Study tracks soybean improvements over decades