Row spacing in agricultural systems can influence crop yield as well as pest and predator abundances. Soybean (Glycine max L. Merrill) growers in Maryland typically plant in narrow (∼19 cm), medium (∼38 cm), or wide (∼76 cm)-spaced rows, and there is a general lack of information on how these row-spacing schemes influence arthropod abundance and soybean yields. A study was conducted during two growing seasons to determine the effect of soybean row spacing and planting date (early and late) on soybean arthropods and yield. Despite a great deal of variation in arthropod responses to row spacing, and interactions between row spacing and study year, leaf-feeding herbivores were generally more abundant in narrow-spaced soybeans. All arthropod functional groups were more abundant, and yield was greater in early-planted soybeans relative to late-planted soybeans. Potential causes and implications of these finding are discussed.
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Vol. 44 • No. 3