Optimum Soybean Seeding Rates

Published on: 16:41PM Oct 12, 2010

 Dr. Palle Pedersen

What’s your soybean stand count today? What’s your population goal? And how did that influence your seeding rate at planting?
This summer I shared best practices for soybean seeding rates at a series of plot tours across the Midwest. One key to remember: For maximum yield, the stand count at harvest is most important. 
As seed costs increase, many growers are rethinking their standard soybean seeding rates. And that’s ok with the soybean plants themselves:
  • A soybean plant will adjust it’s growth and development based on space
  • Plant establishment percentage often decreases more from high seeding rates due to plant competition (red percentages on the bars represent the difference between the seeding rate and plant population)
  • Just 100,000 plants/A at harvest is often enough to maximize economic returns
So how can you cost-effectively reach the ideal harvest stand count? You don’t need to overseed, and a soybean insecticide/fungicide seed treatment combination can protect plants from disease and insect pressure.

What’s your soybean population goal? Should it change next season?