Row Spacing: Taking Soybeans to Astronomical Yields

Published on: 13:20PM Feb 28, 2013

Despite what the title may lead you to believe, we’re not going to tell you to launch soybeans into outer space. Unlike outer space, which is infinite in size, spacing soybean rows at 15 inches has proven to increase yield, according to Iowa State University Extension. That is not to say there are no similarities between soybeans and space exploration. In fact, achieving higher yields shares a lot of similarities with a successful launch into outer space. Here’s how soybeans do it:   

  • Faster liftoffs – Soybeans can achieve canopy closure more quickly with narrow rows. Canopy closure minimizes the sun’s rays from penetrating the soil’s surface. This plays an important role in maintaining soil moisture, and it becomes increasingly important during periods of drought.
  • Dodging space debris – In addition to protecting against excessive sunlight, soybean foliage may also provide coverage against raindrops. Direct rainfall often dislodges soil particles, which leads to erosion.
  • Defense against "space" invaders – Soybean canopies also act as a natural defense against weeds by shading the areas of the soil where weeds could emerge. Weeds act as "space" invaders, and they compete with the soybean plant for precious real estate, water and nutrients.
  • Fewer collisions in space – Narrow rows allow soybeans to be spaced further apart within each row. As soybeans are spaced further apart within a row, it allows for less competition for nutrients and water from neighboring plants.

    Soybean Row Spacing

Like successful space programs, new territory exploration is always the goal. By narrowly spacing rows in an agronomic program, soybeans are able to grow to astronomical yields. But to achieve these yields requires planting the right variety, which is why Syngenta offers NK® brand soybeans. NK soybeans provide high-yielding performance with lower risk to help growers start the season strong. By starting strong, you will have higher soybean yields closer than you think – no pun intended.

To access information about the broad Syngenta seeds portfolio, visit It offers a centralized location to find information about anything related to Syngenta seed brands, including variety selections and localized yield results.

©2013 Syngenta. Important: Always read and follow label instructions. Some crop protection products may not be registered for sale or use in all states or counties. Please check with your local extension service to ensure registration status.NK® and the Syngenta logo are registered trademarks of a Syngenta Group Company.