Improving Soybean Production Using Light Supplementation at Field-Scale: A Case Study

Ernane M Lemes, Breno N R Azevedo, Matheus F I Domiciano, Samuel L Andrade

Abstract


In modern agriculture, there is a growing need for increasing crop efficiency while minimizing environmental impacts. The use of high-efficiency light supplementation to enhance plant development is limited for high-productive crops at field conditions (outdoor). This study evaluated the soybean plant’s yield responses in an open commercial area (field scale) cultivated under conditions of artificial light supplementation. A commercial irrigated (pivot) area received an illumination system for light supplementation (LS) in its inner pivot spans. About 40 hours of LS were applied to the plants during the soybean crop cycle. The area’s outer pivot spans did not receive light supplementation (nLS). The internode number, the plant height, the pods per plant were evaluated weekly to compute the area under the progress curve (AUPC). The grain yield at harvest was also assessed. The AUPC of the internode number, plant height and pods per plant were positively affected by the LS treatment. The regular soybean cycle (nLS) is about 17 weeks; however, the LS harvest occurred three weeks later. Light supplementation increased soybean grain yield by 57.3% and profitability by 180% when compared to nLS. Although light supplementation at field scale poses a challenge, it is now affordable since sustainable field resistant technologies are now available. The present study is the first known report of light supplementation used to improve soybean crop production at field scale.


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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5296/jas.v9i3.18889

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Copyright (c) 2021 Ernane M Lemes, Breno N R Azevedo, Matheus F I Domiciano, Samuel L Andrade

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Journal of Agricultural Studies   ISSN 2166-0379

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