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What is LAI? Leaf area index (LAI) is the ratio of leaf area to land area. Soybean requires LAI values of at least 3.5 to 4.0 by early to mid-reproductive developmental stages to achieve maximum yield for that year and environment. A soybean crop that does not achieve adequate LAI could be at risk to yield loss from insect leaf-feeders, whereas, fields with high (4+) LAI can sustain significant insect feeding with little to no effect on yield. This publication will aid producers in evaluating soybean fields at risk to yield reduction from leaf-feeding insects
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Issued in furtherance of Cooperative Extension work, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Virginia State University, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture cooperating. Edwin J. Jones, Director, Virginia Cooperative Extension, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg; M. Ray McKinnie, Administrator, 1890 Extension Program, Virginia State University, Petersburg.
November 13, 2018