Lodging is sometimes a serious problem with soybeans in Kentucky, especially with the full season crop. However, under, excellent growing conditions, or if planting rates are too high, substantial lodging of double crop soybeans can also occur. If lodging occurs early during seed fill, it can reduce yields directly by causing poorer light use and increasing diseases. If lodging occurs late during seed fill, it will have little direct effect on yield, but may have an indirect effect by slowing down harvest and increasing harvest losses. Thus, the use of an inexpensive chemical to reduce soybean lodging is attractive. Our primary objective in this study was to determine if ethephon (Cerone) could reduce lodging of soybeans. Since we suspected that the shorter plants resulting from ethephon treatment might have set pods closer to the ground, our secondary objective was to determine if ethephon would have a detrimental effect on yield by causing greater harvest losses. While ethephon is not labeled for use on soybeans, we wanted to study its potential use for this important Kentucky crop.

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