Early Planting Soybeans: Tips

Planting date: The calendar is not as important to observing ‘Mother Nature’. Soil temperature, 10 day forecast and soil conditions are more important than the calendar date. Research in the past few years have shown that earlier planted soybeans (May 1 – May 15) have preformed better than later planted. Soil Temperature – Soil temperature during the first 24 hours is critical to soybean emergence and vigour. Avoid planting soybeans when the soil temperature is below 10o C (50o F). Soybeans that absorb cold water during the first 24 hours are at a greater risk of poor germination and vigour. Soil temperature is usually 2 – 3 hours delay to air temperature. If you are planting into marginal soil temperature it is better to plant later in the day and watch 24 – 48 hour forecast in regards to temperature and avoid planting prior a cold forecast. For more information on soil temperature and soybeans check out: http://www.omafra.gov.on.ca/english/crops/field/news/croptalk/2003/ct_0903a7.htm

Seeding Rates – For early planted soybeans Use the recommended rate for the row width you are planting. Cutting rates is not recommended.

Seed Treatment – Planting into cooler soils will increase the risk of seed rots, seedling diseases and seed corn maggot. Due to the slower emergence of the soybean, the seed is exposed to the pest longer. Use seed treatments (Apron Maxx or Cruiser Maxx) to reduce the risk in early planted fields.

Planting Depth – Uniform seed depth is important. It is important to get the seed planted into moisture due to the high moisture required to swell the seed (50 % of its weight). The goal is place the seed approx. ½ inch into moisture. Ideal Planting depth should be between 1 – 1 ½ inches but anywhere from 1 – 2 ½ inches will work. Beans planted a 3 inches and deeper are at risk of emergence problems.

Soil Moisture Management – Wet soil conditions often lead to compaction (sidewall, surface) problems, deep planting issues and the seed trench opening up. When planting into wet soil conditions rolling or packing should be delayed to prevent compaction of the soil surface. When planting into dry soils it is very important to conserve the moisture by using the packer/roller during tillage and right after planting. Also, it is very important to not to over till the soil and/or till the soil to far ahead of planting as this practice may over dry the seed bed.

Have a safe planting season.

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