Elevated soybean [Glycine max (L.) Merr.] prices have spurred interest in maximizing soybean seed yield and has led growers to increase the number of inputs in their production systems. However, little information exists about the effects of high-input management on soybean yield and profitability. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of individual inputs, as well as combinations of inputs marketed to protect or increase soybean seed yield, yield components, and economic break-even probabilities. Studies were established in nine states and three soybean growing regions (North, Central, and South) between 2012 and 2014. In each site-year both individual inputs and combination high-input (SOYA) management systems were tested. When averaged between 2012 and 2014, regional results showed no seed yield responses in the South region, but multiple inputs affected seed yield in the North region. In general, the combination SOYA inputs resulted in the greatest yield increases (up to 12%) compared to standard management, but Bayesian economic analysis indicated SOYA had low break-even probabilities. Foliar insecticide had the greatest break-even probabilities across all environments, although insect pressure was generally low across all site-years. Soybean producers in North region are likely to realize a greater response from increased inputs, but producers across all regions should carefully evaluate adding inputs to their soybean management systems and ensure that they continue to follow the principles of integrated pest management.

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Published in Crop Sciences, v. 56, no. 4, p. 1988-2004.

© Crop Science Society of America

This is an open access article distributed under the CC BY-NC-ND license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/).

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The authors would also like to thank the United Soybean Board (grant no. 2239) for funding this research.