Soybean Growth Stages

VE / Emergence

Depending on soil moisture, soil temperatures, and planting depth, emergence occurs 1–2 weeks after planting.

VC / Cotyledon

The unifoliate leaves are located at the first true node on the plant.

V1 / First Trifoliate (second node)

Although it is the second true node, this stage marks the first node at which the first trifoliolate is produced.

V2 / Second Trifoliate (third node)

Soybean plants at the V2 stage have 2 fully developed trifoliolates. Nodules formed at the VE stage begin actively fixing Nitrogen for the plant.

V3 / Third Trifoliate (fourth node)

Three trifoliolates are now fully developed above the unifoliate leaves.

R1 / Beginning Bloom

A plant is at the R1 stage when one open flower is at any node on the main stem.

R1 / Beginning Bloom (detail)

A plant is at the R1 stage when one open flower is at any node on the main stem.

R3 / Beginning Pod

When pods are 3/16 inch long at one of the four uppermost nodes on the main stem with a fully developed leaf, the plant is at the R3 stage.

R3 / Beginning Pod (detail)

When pods are 3/16 inch long at one of the four uppermost nodes on the main stem with a fully developed leaf, the plant is at the R3 stage.

R5 / Beginning Seed

The seed in the pod at one of the four uppermost nodes with fully developed leaves on the main stem is 1/8 inch long at this stage. Plants at the R5 stage are normally V15 to V23 and are approximately 30–43 inches tall.

R5 / Beginning Seed (detail)

The seed in the pod at one of the four uppermost nodes with fully developed leaves on the main stem is 1/8 inch long at this stage. Plants at the R5 stage are normally V15 to V23 and are approximately 30–43 inches tall.

R8 / Full Maturity

At this stage 95% of the pods have reached maturity, however 5–10 days of drying weather are needed after the R8 stage before soybeans have less than 15% moisture.