Early Soybean Planting Pays

May 6, 2009 07:00 PM

Darrell Smith, Farm Journal Conservation & Machinery Editor
Cha-ching. Every day beyond May 1 limits the yield you could realize on soybeans, according to recent studies in Nebraska. Research conducted by University of Nebraska—Lincoln agronomist Jim Specht shows soybean yield declines by ¼ bu. per acre to 5/8 bu. per acre per day for every day after May 1. In 2008, three on-farm comparisons, and one at the South Central Ag Lab near Clay Center, confirmed the trend.
As a broad recommendation, Specht and Clay County, Neb., Extension educator Jennifer Rees recommend planting soybeans the last week of April in the southern two-thirds of Nebraska and the first week of May in the northern third of the state.
You need to consider the risk of a late spring freeze in your area when selecting your planting date, Specht and Rees note. You can find weather data at the High Plains Regional Climate Center site: http://www.hprcc.unl.edu. Click on Historical Data Summaries. Then find the red dot representing the weather station closest to your farm. On the left-hand side, find the section titled Temperature, and click on Spring Freeze Probabilities.
You can read more about Specht's and Rees' planting-date research at http://cropwatch.unl.edu/archives/2009/crop7/soybean_planting.htm. You'll also find an article by Specht, in which he questions the methods used in a study recently published in a professional journal, which argued that there is no advantage to planting soybeans earlier than very late May in the Midwest.

You can email Darrell Smith at dsmith@farmjournal.com


This article appeared in a recent issue of Farm Journal's Crop Technology Update eNewsletter. To sign up for a free subscription, click here.

Back to news


Spell Check

No comments have been posted to this News Article

Corn College TV Education Series


Get nearly 8 hours of educational video with Farm Journal's top agronomists. Produced in the field and neatly organized by topic, from spring prep to post-harvest. Order now!


Market Data provided by QTInfo.com
Brought to you by Beyer