Is the last week of April too early to plant soybeans?

Early planting is one of the best management practices to increases your soybean yield. Research has proven it. But can we plant too early. This a good question and there is little data from Ontario available as generally we do not have the opportunity to test. Most of the northern tier states recommend the first two weeks of May at the best time to plant soybeans. Only when in Indiana, Illinois, and southern Iowa do we see recommendation for late April planting.
Is it worth the risk? If I was confident as a grower I could get all my soybeans in the ground before May 15th I would probably avoid an April planting date for the bulk of my soybean planting. Would I try a small field with two or three planting dates as an experiment? – Definitely. When will you have another opportunity to plant soybeans in April and test planting dates on your farm? Try a field with April, early May and late May plantings.
Critical success factors to early planting:
1) Plant into a good seedbed – do not ‘mud in’ your soybeans
2) Seed Treatment – Protect your seed with Cruiser Maxx
3) Check Planting depth – moisture is critical but 1 – 1 ½ inches should be targeted
4) Plants in warm soils – if we get a stretch of cold day and night temperatures – wait.
5) Poorly drained and compacted soils increase seedling diseases – avoid cool wet soil conditions when planting.
6) Monitor for Bean leaf beetle as they target early soybean fields.
Safe planting.


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