Rachel Duff, Farm Journal Intern
Thunderstorms and heavy rainfall have caused delays for soybean farmers. If you have both double-crop and single-crop soybean fields to be planted, find the field offering the best planting conditions, says Vince Davis, assistant professor of soybean production systems at the University of Illinois.
The most important condition to look for is dry fields. Soybeans in the double-crop rotation (following winter wheat) could perhaps be planted even earlier than some single-season fields, he says. The driest fields may be double-crop rotation fields with winter wheat because the wheat crop will have used the water in the fields faster than it would have evaporated.
But, if a rainfall occurs between harvesting the wheat and planting soybeans, it could mean an even wetter field, Davis says.
As the single-crop soybean planting gets later, farmers may need to follow double-cropped soybean planting methods:
· Mid- to full-season soybean variety is still the best option for optimum yields.
· Rows should be quite narrow at this point in the season, about 7 to 10 inch rows with a no-till drill. The narrow rows will produce the best yields in late June and early July.
· Seeding rates should be 50% to 100% more plants per acre than is recommended for May plantings.
· Weather cannot be ordered, but timely July and August rainfall and a normal or later-than-normal frost would be best.
Good soybean yields are still possible, Davis says, if everything goes according to plan.