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Agronomy Journal Abstract -

A Hand Caliper for Measuring Thickness of Soybean Pods1


This article in AJ

  1. Vol. 69 No. 1, p. 125-126
    Received: Apr 21, 1976

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  1. J. M. McWilliams,
  2. J. H. Hatchett and
  3. E. A. Stadelbacher2



A precise, quantitative measure of pod growth, applicable from early pod elongation to full-size green beans, was needed to determine the relationship of soybean [Glycine max (L.) Merr] pod maturity to insect seed feeding damage. Since pods increase in thickness as the seeds develop, measurements of pod thickness can be used for this purpose. A “V” type hand caliper that provided direct thickness measurements of pods in increments of 0.5 mm was devised. The change in pod thickness of a determinate soybean variety was determined by measurements taken in the field at different times during pod growth. The rate of increase in thickness was not uniform but averaged 0.5 mm/4 days. Characterization of pod growth by thickness has potential for relating pod development to insect damage and may have additional application for the study of other stress factors on yield.

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