Planting Effective Plots

Quality data can only be achieved through quality plots. Establishment of the plot is critical we need to be aware of the following things:

Pre plant preparation

• Stakes, forms, GPS unit, safety equip.
• Check plot seed inventory – do you have the hybrids you want
• Plan ahead– If possible plant the plot early in the season.

Successful Plot establishment

• Site is level and of one soil type
• Watch for dead furrows
• Identifications stakes – 2 per variety in the corn row
• Documentation – fully completed (includes soil type, tillage, previous crop etc.)
• GPS location or map to find site
• Correct planting depth
• Population – watch seed size and changes in population
• Leave documentation with dealer or NK rep.

In season Assessment

Monitor that the stakes are correct
Trim fronts or make a path to and along the front of the plot for easier access.


• Spring Vigour
• Flowering/pollination
• Pest pressure – insect/weed/disease
• Maturity – milk line or black layer

Harvest assessment

• Population
• Lodging
• Pest pressure – insect/weed/disease
• Stalk integrity – push test
• Moisture
• Test weight
• Yield

Remember using your plot information and information of other plots in the area and throughout North America as the best way to get the ‘right hybrid on the right field for the highest yield’.


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:

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.

Speciality Soybean Update.

I had the opportunity to sit down with Bruce Irons, Speciality Soybean Manager with Syngenta Seeds Canada and discuss the Speciality (IP) soybean market for 2011 and the future. Reduced premiums in 2011 are mainly due to the full pipeline of clear hilum soybeans for the Japanese market. The oversupply according to Irons is due to the increased acreage planted in 2009 and the high yields of soybeans over the last couple of years. This has led to a soft market, reduced premiums and less acres contracted in 2011. There has been increase shipments into south-east Asia and that market is opening up for speciality food soybeans. This market is generally very price sensitive and uses dark hilum lower value soybeans. Reduced premiums and oversupply of food grade soybeans are driving this market.
The high soybean price on the CBOT has that affected the IP market? Irons feel that it has in that growers may ask themselves if it is really worth growing an IP soybean and the extra work and cost that is required. Canada is recognised for producing high quality, high protein soybeans and to be able to provide soybeans in this niche market and it would be disappointing to lose our global competitiveness and leadership by moving away from the IP market in the short-term. Why should you grow an IP soybean over a glyphosate tolerant soybean? Three main reasons – protect our niche market that we have established, help reduce the threat of glyphosate resistance weeds and yield. OOPSCC trials in 2010 show that on average the conventional soybeans yield approximately two bushels more than the glyphosate tolerant soybeans.
What can we expect in 2012? The exporters have communicated to Irons that expectations are to return to a normal demand and premium as seen in the past.

For the full interview click here or watch on YouTube : IP soybean interview – January 2011.

Check your soybean fields for Spider Mites.

Many fields are looking at like the best yields we have seen in a long time it is important to get these beans in the bin. The damage from spider mites in your field will decrease your yield. Tracey has a great article that can help with your spray decision. Check the link below.
Too Many Fields with Obvious Spider Mite Damage.

Did you maximize your soybean yield?

Now is the perfect time to scout your soybean fields to see if we planted a long enough maturing soybean. To break new yield plateau we have moved to earlier planting with seed treatment and early season pest control (weed, disease and insect) to increase yields but have we planted longer maturing soybeans? If you are not planning on growing wheat after your soybeans in order to maximize yield you need to use all of the growing season available. To do this we need to plant early and plant a later maturing soybean (0.5 to 0.8 RM (100 – 200 CHU)) than you would normally. This can add significant yield, 3 – 5 bu/ac. Just by looking at the graphs in the Ontario Soybean performance testing ( you can see that as you extend maturity the yield goes up.
So why scout now? Generally, the soybeans should still be flowering in the top section of the plant in mid August to maximize the growing season. If they are done flowering in early August you lost yield (or are planning on planting wheat) if they still are flowering on the top of the plant you are still making putting bushels in the bin. Check your field. Did you plant the correct soybean maturity this year?

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.

Two new Special Food Grade Soybeans for 2011

Contributed by Bruce Irons, Regional Manager, Western Ontario

Two new and exciting Non-GMO soybean varieties have been bred and registered by Syngenta Seeds Canada Inc for commercial release in 2011.

S07-D2 is a 2700Hu, yellow hilum variety with high protein levels and strong agronomic qualities. The variety has a yield index of 100% and would be a suitable companion to S05-T6 and S10-B7, with higher protein levels.

The variety S09-L6 is slightly longer in terms of maturity and it’s most striking characteristic is the very high protein levels that we have seen on a consistent basis. Protein levels in excess of 47% are not uncommon in this yellow Hilum variety. The yield index is not as high as the S07-D2 but the superior protein levels are attracting a lot of interest from local exporters and buyers in the East. We look forward to introducing them to farms in 2011.

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