SOYBEAN GROWTH STAGES

V2 Two nodes on the main stem with fully developed leaves. R4 Pod is 3/4" long at one of the four uppermost nodes on the main stem with a fully developed leaf. R8 Ninety-five percent of the pods have reached their mature pod color.

 

Vegetative stages
VE Emergence Emergence of young plants through the soil surface with cotyledons (seed leaves) above the soil 
VC  Cotyledon  The plant has emerged and cotyledons are fully unfolded
V1 first node The first node appears and the unifoliate leaves are fully developed opposite each other
V2 2 nodes Two nodes on the main stem with fully developed leaves
V5  5 nodes Counting the unifoliate node, there are four more nodes with fully developed trifoliolate leaves.
Vegetative stages V6, V7... Vn continue until the first flower appears. Some varieties may accumulate as many as 20 nodes during the vegetative growth stage.

 

Reproductive Stages
R1  Beginning flower Open flower at any node on the main stem
R2 Full flower  Open flower at one of the two uppermost nodes on the main stem
R3 Beginning pod  Pod is 5 mm (3/16 inch) long at one of the four uppermost nodes on the main stem.
R4 Full pod Pod is 3/4" long at one of the four uppermost nodes on the main stem with a fully developed leaf.
R5 Beginning seed Seed is 1/8" long in a pod at one of the four uppermost nodes on the main stem.
R6 Full seed  A pod containing a green seed that fills the pod cavity is located at one of the four uppermost main stem nodes.
R7 Beginning maturity  One normal pod on the main stem has reached its mature pod color.
R8  Full maturity Ninety-five percent of the pods have reached their mature pod color.

 

Sources

Stage of development descriptions for soybeans, glycine max. (L). Merrill. Fehr & Caviness et al. Crop Science 11: 929-931 (1971).

Soybean Growth and Development (ISU PM 1943) A 28-page publication that explains soybean growth and development through the life cycle of a maturity group II variety.

Drawings courtesy of Anne E. Dorrance and Patrick E. Lipps.Ohio State University.