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  • Author or Editor: Daljeet S. Dhaliwal x
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Daljeet S. Dhaliwal and Martin M. Williams II

Consumer demand for edamame [Glycine max (L.) Merr.], the vegetable version of soybean (Glycine max), has grown during the past decade in North America. Domestic production of edamame is on the rise; however, research to guide fundamental crop production practices, including knowledge useful for developing appropriate recommendations for crop seeding rate, is lacking. Field experiments near Urbana, IL, were used to quantify edamame response to plant density and determine the economically optimal plant density (EOPD) of machine-harvested edamame. Crop growth and yield responses to a range of plant densities (24,700 to 395,100 plants/ha) were quantified in four edamame cultivars (AGS 292, BeSweet 292, Gardensoy 42, and Midori Giant) across 2 years. Plots were harvested with the Oxbo BH100, a fresh market bean harvester. In general, as plant density increased, branch number and the ratio of pod mass to vegetative mass decreased, while plant height and leaf area index increased. Recovery, the percent of marketable pods in the machine-harvested sample, varied among cultivars from 86% to 95%. Results identified the EOPD for machine-harvested edamame ranged from 87,000 to 120,000 plants/ha. When considering the effect of plant density on plant morphology, as well as seeding cost, harvester efficiency, recovery, and marketable pod yield, edamame EOPDs are considerably lower than seeding rates of up to 344,200 seeds/ha recommended in recent publications.