Soybean Productivity as Affected by Raised Seedbeds Under Dry Environments

Aaron R. Hoppe, Grant H. Mehring*, Hans Kandel
Department of Plant Sciences, North Dakota State University, USA

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© 2017 Hoppe et al.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Department of Plant Sciences, North Dakota State University, 166 Loftsgard Hall, Dept 7670, PO Box 6050, Fargo, ND 58108-6050, USA; Tel: 701-231-8056; Fax: 701-231-8474; E-mail:



Raised seedbeds may be a practice for reducing waterlogging in the rooting zone in soils of the Red River of the North Valley (RRNV). However, it was not known if there would be a negative yield effect of raised beds in drier environments.

Aims / Method:

The objectives of this research were to evaluate soybean [Glycine max (L.) Merr.] response to early season iron deficiency chlorosis (IDC), agronomic characteristics, and productivity when grown on raised seedbeds compared with flat seedbeds. Soybean grain yield on raised seedbeds, averaged across six drier environments in 2012, was similar to flat seedbeds. Although grain yield did not increase on raised seedbeds, grain yield was not reduced in a dry year. Across environments there were no differences in vigor, IDC, canopy closure, plant height, thousand kernel weights, seed protein or oil content, number of seeds or pods per plant, or grain yield comparing raised with flat seedbeds. At the Rothsay environment, there was more IDC with flat seedbeds compared with raised beds. Soybean cultivars significantly differed in their IDC response and in most yield components measured. Averaged across hour of day, soil temperature was significantly higher in the raised seedbed treatments at Fargo and Hitterdal by 0.4 and 0.8 °C, respectively. When averaged across two cultivars and environments, soybean root mass was 0.37 g root-system-1 higher on raised seedbeds.


Raised seedbeds may be a useful tool to manage IDC and improve soybean productivity in the RRNV, and do not reduce grain yield in environments with below average moisture.

Keywords: Soybean, Raised seedbed, Iron deficiency chlorosis, Soil temperature, Dry environment, Yield components.