These pictures have been taken throughout the season in the location in our SoyMVP field in Hickman County.
June 30, 2009 - V4
July 8, 2009 - V5
July 14, 2009 - V8
July 21, 2009 - R1 (V11)
July 30, 2009 - R2 (V15) (same field, different location)
In order to ensure maximum yield potential, the crop must be able to intercept its maximum level of solar radiation. You can think of it as the crop ability to "harvest light" and convert it to seed.
Everything leading up to reproductive growth, such as plant population and weed control timing, effect the ability of the crop to reach full canopy by this point.