Seeds for Success

Adjusting your soybean planting date means adjusting other activities as well.A short series on soybean planting best practices
By Jeff Shaner, AgVenture Soybean Product Manager

Welcome back for Part 3 of a series on soybean planting tips from my Unofficial Owner’s Manual.

Article 4 – Adjustments for an early planting window

Let’s say the weather plays nice for you this year and you are able to plant a fairly early soybean crop. What adjustments should you consider this spring to bolster your harvest potential next fall?

Moving your planting date up? Move your maturity up too.

The old saying goes “plant your early beans early and your late beans late.” Made sense when trying to spread out your harvest and cover acres in a timely fashion. Note that this saying came in vogue in a much different era when equipment on each farm was much smaller.

While you still may want to plant the earlier-maturing product first out of your cache of seed soy purchases, a currently more relevant rule of thumb would be to adjust the actual maturities you plant. If you normally plant beans in a range from 2.7 – 3.2, an early planting date allows you to shift that later to perhaps a range of 3.1 – 3.6. After all, you do not necessarily want those Mid-To-Late Group 2s to mature in the middle of a dry spell in mid-August.

Moving your planting date up? Purchase your seed with an excellent seed treatment package.

Anymore the disease complex basking in our soils is intense. New diseases that attack soys are still appearing nearly on a yearly basis. I believe a quality treatment will pay dividends no matter when you plant, warm or cold. But certainly, the potential for seedlings to reside in cooler spring soils is a proving ground for the need to treat.

Moving your planting date up? Anticipate the pests that are compounded by such activities.

I would start by choosing a product with a solid rating against Sudden Death Syndrome, which is amplified by cool, wet early soil conditions.

Next I would have a plan in place to ward off White Mold as much as possible. When plants have more vegetation filling rows in June, Sclerotinia White Mold is a real possibility in the northern half of the US.

If you have one of the earliest-planted crops in the neighborhood, bugs will come looking for a meal at your buffet first. Do not rely on the timing of past years to tell you when a pest outbreak may occur. Scout and be prepared to act, because you rang the dinner bell early in this scenario.

To be continued.

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