‘Ransom’, ‘Govan’, and ‘Bragg’ soybeans [Glycine max (L.) Merr.] were seeded in 30-, 61-, and 91-cm row spacings to achieve a uniform population of 323 000 plants/ha. In 1979 and 1980, shade development within the row was similar for all row spacings, but 15 cm from the row the inflection point occurred earlier when soybeans were seeded at the 30-cm row spacing. In 1979, shading 30 cm from the row was similar with the 61- and 91-cm row spacings, but in 1980 the 61-cm row spacing provided earlier shading. Shading within the row and 15 and 30 cm from the row was similar for all cultivars in 1979, but Govan and Bragg shaded row middles earlier than Ransom at the 91-cm row spacing. In 1980, shade development in the row was similar for all cultivars, but delayed shading was observed between the rows with Ransom. In 1979, maximum soybean seed yields were produced with 2, 2, and 0 weed-free weeks at the 30-, 61-, and 91-cm row spacings, respectively. In 1980, 2 weed-free weeks prevented soybean seed yield reductions at all row spacings. In 1979, Ransom, Bragg, and Govan required 4, 2, and 0 weed-free weeks, respectively, for maximum seed yields. In 1980, all cultivars achieved maximum seed yields with 2 weed-free weeks.