Preseason and Planting Soybean Tips

Teresa Olson
By Teresa Olson April 11, 2019 10:03

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Weather issues have hampered efforts to begin this year’s planting season, but there are some things you can do prior to getting started that will help ensure you have the best soybean crop possible.  One should first note that the seeds you intend to plant may not be as vigorous as you think.  Soybean supplies in the Midwest are revealing signs of germination issues, partly due to longer and wetter than normal harvests in seed-producing states like Iowa, Illinois and Indiana.  A couple of seed diseases that are being seen in 2019 are:

  • Phomopsis seed decay:  Identified by a chalky white color on the seed surface.  Seed will also be shriveled or broken.
  •  Purple seed stain: The soybean seed will have a purple tint or be covered with purple blotches.

Check the germination percentage of any fresh seed and confirm that information with tests of your own at a state crop improvement association laboratory, many of which are located at your local university .  If you saved seed from last year, clean it thoroughly to get a minimum 80% germination rate.  If your rate is lower, plan on a fungicide treatment which while not helping the germination rate, will at least protect seedlings under stress and ensure a better stand.

 

Don’t wait for 50 degree days to start your planting.  Soybeans can handle cold very well, and while a hard freeze will kill them, emerged beans can handle 28 degrees Fahrenheit for four hours.

 

When you start your planting, take a few minutes to check your planter performance as gaps in your stand or uneven emergence obviously cut into profits.  Remember that soybeans are very sensitive to planting depth, and the ideal depth is 1 to 1 1/2 inches.  In no-till production, plant at the 1 inch depth so seeds can push through the residue.  If moisture is limiting they can be planted at 2 inches, but this makes the stand vulnerable to crusting and varieties with short hypocotyls (the part of the stem of an embryo plant beneath the stalks of the seed leaves and directly above the root) may not emerge.

 

Good trench closure is also vital in achieving good stands in soybeans, especially in soils high in clay content.  If trenches open after planting, seeds are exposed to drying and pre-emergence herbicides so explore other styles of closing wheels if this has been an issue in the past.  Drills (including the modern high-speed versions) can be used profitably in soybean production but operators must use caution as gaps can occur when planting is not managed properly.

 

There’s a lot to accomplish during this spring planting season which has been shortened by flooding and winter storms, but hopefully a little preparation will help.

 

-Terry Olson, Titan Machinery Outlet Team

 

Resources:

https://www.agriculture.com/crops/soybeans/3-preseason-soybean-tips-for-2019?cid=360395&did=360395-20190403&mid=19845438003&utm_campaign=todays-news_newsletter&utm_content=040319&utm_medium=email&utm_source=agriculture.com

https://www.iasoybeans.com/news/articles/tips-for-soybean-planting/

 

Teresa Olson
By Teresa Olson April 11, 2019 10:03
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