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Soybean maturity groups

Naked Gallery Soybean maturity groups.

Soybean plants respond to photoperiod — the day length. Soybeans have developed a sort of intelligence that lets them know if they have enough time to fill seed.

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A chemical in the leaves called phytochrome responds to day length and sends a signal to the meristem on nodes, where the flowers appear. That starts the reproductive process. Plant breeders have identified and selected varieties that are just a little different in how the phytochrome reacts to day length.

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