Seven Steps to Successful Early Soy Planting


Growing research has given soybean growers many reasons to reconsider the economic returns of seed treatments. (See more here:…But fields planted early are probably not the place to start experimenting with removing fungicide and insecticide treated seeds, Woodyard and Ehler said. Seeds that sit for several weeks in cool soil will be particularly vulnerable to soil diseases and insects.

“This is not a place where I would choose to lose insurance,” said Woodyard. “The disease is the biggest concern, but you are also the flock site for all the bean leaf beetles in the area. “

If you have fields with known disease pressures such as SDS, Pythium or phytophthora, perhaps don’t opt ​​to plant them early in your first year of testing, he added.


Planting soybeans early essentially extends your growing season. Opting for a longer maturity group can help you harness that advantage more, the agronomists said. Stick to the high end of the range for your area.

“When you plant early, you will push this plant into reproductive stages for the longest day length and the longest period of sunshine of the growing season,” Ehler explained. “A more complete seasonal variety will give you more yield potential and take advantage of that longer growing season – your reproductive stages will be lengthened, you will put more nodes, which means more pods, which means more beans. , which means more yield. “


Many agricultural labs offer a multitude of ways to test seeds for their germination abilities. If you have time for a two week delay, consider ordering a cold germination test, which tests a soybean’s ability to germinate in cool, moist conditions, or an accelerated aging test, which tests how a soybean resists high heat and humidity. Both tests will help you find out which varieties are the most tolerant of early season stresses, Woodyard said. “We absolutely use it to prioritize the varieties that we are going to promote,” he said.


This may seem counterintuitive, given the potential stand stresses, but Woodyard and Ehler both recommend reducing planting populations in soybean fields planted early.

The challenge is to increase the yield and growth potential of the field planted early. “Plants tie more knots due to the longer daylength during the breeding stages, so if you are overcrowded you will get internodal elongation, bean grading and housing issues when harvesting,” he said. Ehler explained.

Ehler favors a final count target of about 110,000-115,000 plants / acre; Woodyard recommends growers aim to stay above a minimum final stand number of 75,000 plants / acre.

Expect 75 to 80 percent stand survival for fields planted in late March and early April, Woodyard added. As the planting date moves towards mid-April, stand survival is expected to reach 90%, so growers can adjust their seedling population accordingly.


Don’t go too little to fields planted early, Ehler warned. Recent research from 2011-2013 at the University of Nebraska determined that 1.75 inches deep was the optimal depth for planting soybeans at any time of the year, with yields below 1.25 inches and above. as deep as 2.25 inches. See more here:….


“At the end of the day, you can never guess at an abnormal weather event; you are playing the odds,” Woodyard said.

Study your area’s crop insurance planting dates and any free replanting guarantees that may be offered by your seed supplier (which are often tied to local crop insurance dates).

By mid-April to the end of April, many midwestern soybean farmers are expected to qualify for free replanting from most major seed companies, Ehler said. But keep in mind the extra time, fuel, and other costs associated with another field trip. “Weigh your risk of replanting against the reward – basically $ 100 / acre in additional yields,” he said.

Learn more about early planting of DTN soybeans here:… and here:….

See more tips on doing it successfully from the University of Nebraska here:….

For more information on how soybeans resist cold soils, check out this University of Nebraska article:….

Emily Unglesbee can be reached at [email protected]

Follow her on Twitter @Emily_Unglesbee

About Mohammed B. Hale

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