Early soybean planting is becoming more and more common as spring weather often suits the agronomic practice that leads to equal or better yields. For farmers interested in trying early beans, five tactics can help your yield success.
1. Properly preparing the seed bed is critical when planting into colder soils. Soybeans that emerge in tilled ground have a warmer ground temperature compared to no-till fields where late freezes can damage the seedlings.
2. Seed quality is crucial for emergence. Use germination scores and cold temperature vigor to determine which soybean varieties can be planted early.
3. Know your field’s risk. Early-planting threats can be found most in fields that have the greatest rate of sudden death syndrome (SDS) and should be managed carefully through the use of seed treatments, fungicides and insecticides.
4. Variety differences should be considered. Plot data doesn’t necessarily tell the whole story. Look for varieties that place more relative yield on branches and take advantage of extended daylight offered through early planting.
5. Be prompt with your planting window. Early planting can sneak up on you and deadlines can peel off as many as 10 to 15 bushels per acre. Be ready to move quickly on soybeans so you don’t miss the early planting window.
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