IPI International Potash Institute
IPI International Potash Institute

Scientific abstracts

Shifts in Soybean Yield, Nutrient Uptake, and Nutrient Stoichiometry: A Historical Synthesis-Analysis
Balboa, G.R., V.O. Sadras, and I.A. Ciampitti
Published in:
Crop Sci. 58(1):43-54 (2018), English


Few studies have investigated changes over time in nutrient uptake and yield, in addition to the study of nutrient stoichiometry as a metric of nutrient limitations in soybean [Glycine max (L.) Merr.]. A comprehensive synthesis-analysis was performed by compiling a global historical soybean database of yield, total biomass, and nutrient (N, P, and K) content and concentration in studies published from 1922 to 2015. This period was divided in three eras based on genetically modified soybean events: Era I (1922-1996), Era II (1997-2006), and Era III (2007-2015). The main findings of this review are: (i) seed yield improved from 1.3 Mg ha−1 in the 1930s to 3.2 Mg ha−1 in the 2010s; (ii) yield increase was primarily driven by increase in biomass rather than harvest index (HI); (iii) both N and P HIs increased over time; (iv) seed nutrient concentration remained stable for N and declined for both P (18%) and K (13%); (v) stover nutrient concentration remained stable for N, diminished for P, and increased for K; (vi) nutrient ratios portray different trends for N/P (Era I and III > II), N/K (Era I > II and III), and K/P (Era II and III > I); (vii) yield per unit of nutrient uptake (internal efficiency) increased for N (33%) and P (44%) and decreased for K (11%); and (viii) variations in nutrient internal efficiency were primarily explained by increase in nutrient HI for N and K, but equally explained by both HI for P and seed P concentration. These findings have implications for soybean production and integrated nutrient management to improve yield, nutrient use efficiency, and seed nutrient composition.

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