Did you know that, on average, most seeds only yield between 25 and 40 percent of their full potential? We know this from witnessing record yields on commodity crops such as canola, corn or beans. But why aren't more farmers producing higher yields? The answer is stress. There are many sources of stress for a plant. Some of these include moisture, temperature, nutrient deficiency, light, pests, etc. As we walk through the plant growth cycle, we can examine the most common of these stress factors.
At each stage of a plant's life, various stresses have different effects. It may seem overly obvious but, we all know that if a seed doesn't get enough water, it won't germinate. Less obvious potential stresses are soil termperature, and nutrient availability. Availability of nutrients is a key factor for every stage of a plant's life.
In corn, much of the plant's yield has been determined before V3. This is why it is very important to make sure that the early stages of the plant's life are low in stress.
In soybeans, the flowering stage is critical time for setting pods. The more flowers, the more pods are set. The more pods that are set, the higher the potential yield.
Successful stress management is the best way to decrease yield loss.