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Answers to Your Late-Planting Soybean Questions

April 22, 2018
This agronomic image shows early soybean plants.

With winter conditions continuing deep into spring this year, the possibility of late-planted soybeans is increasing. In addition to tips from our earlier post, here are some key considerations for growers facing this scenario.

When should I consider switching to an earlier season soybean?

Extension and industry studies agree that June 5-10 is the time frame to start shifting out of full-season to mid-season maturity soybeans. Full-season maturity soybeans are planted to generate more yield potential, but some growers’ shifts to earlier maturities has more to do with harvestability and less to do with preserving or creating more yield potential. Research has demonstrated that after mid-May, each week planting is delayed, soybean maturity is only delayed by 2.8 days.

This graph shows soybean yield depending on early, normal and late planting.

The University of Minnesota recommends June 10 as the ideal date to start adjusting relative maturities for later planting situations. Growers should plant a soybean variety with a relative maturity rating of 0.5 units shorter than the original soybeans. However, late June replants may need to be switched to a variety that is 1 whole maturity shorter. Producers who normally plant short-season varieties are in a position to hold with their current varieties a bit longer.

Should I change my seeding rate?

The answer is “no” through the June 10 planting window with mid-season to full season maturities.

The answer is “probably” as planting dates move past June 20 and RMs early up. Planting in late June and beyond limits pod count. One way to potentially increase pod count with later planting dates is to increase seeding rates. While research sends mixed signals, some agronomists recommend increasing the seeding rate by 10% per week from June 15 to July 1. When planting July 1-15, going to narrower rows and increasing seeding rates by up to 50% provides more potential pod sites per acre.

Will a narrower row width help preserve yield potential with later planting dates?

Yes. Moving to narrower rows is another way to increase the pod count per acre and is recommended as seeding rates climb past 160,000 seeds per acre.

Does seed treatment pay with later planting dates?

Yes. Soils that have been saturated for a period of time are full of diseases waiting to attack. Getting to canopy faster helps set up more yield potential. It also helps out with aphids. Later-planted beans are very attractive to aphids.

Contact your local NK® retailer for more late planting considerations.

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