Weeds impact soybean yields by competing for limited resources, primarily light, water, and nutrients. The demand for these resources early in the growing season is small enough that weeds and soybeans can coexist without yield loss. However, as plants increase in size, competition for resources begins and yields are impacted. The critical period is the point of time when soybean yields begin to be affected by weeds. Controlling weeds before the critical period is reached is essential to protect yields and maximize profits.
Iowa State University
Hartzler, Robert G., "Protecting soybean yields from early-season competition" (2007). Integrated Crop Management News. 1119.
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