Tips for yield from late-planting soybeans

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With so many soybeans still being planted in the upper Midwest, it is appropriate to take some tips from Michigan State University Extension on how to increase yield with beans planted in June.

Row spacing and population

A big concept is switching to narrow rows (15 inches or less) and increase planting populations. “The combination of narrow rows and higher populations will help the crop canopy cover the soil earlier and capture more of the available sunlight. These conditions produce higher yields by reducing evaporation and increasing photosynthesis. Increase planting populations by 10 percent when planting after June 10 and by 20 percent when planting in late June,” recommends Mike Staton, MSU Extension, in a website posting.

Seed treatment

Yield loss from soil fungi should be less of a problem with late planting into soil that is warm and can result in quick germination and emergence, within six days. Staton suggests that fungicide and insecticide seed treatments are less beneficial with late planting. After noting this, Staton follows by suggesting that a field with a history of phytophthora root rot, means a seed company representative should recommend a seed variety that possesses specific race resistance or a variety with good field tolerance and also recommend the seed be treated with mefenoxam at 0.64 fluid ounces per hundredweight.

Seed placement

Precise placement of the soybean seed is also key for late planting. Staton recommends a uniform depth into moisture if possible. He warns to not plant deeper than 1.5 inches or less than 1 inch deep. “Depth control is less precise and consistent when planting with a drill and you don’t want to risk leaving soybeans on the surface or placing them too deep,” he explained.

Scout often

Scout late-planted fields often and thoroughly. Aphids deposited into soybean fields in the vegetative stages will reproduce more rapidly and reach economic thresholds two weeks sooner than aphids deposited into fields in the early reproductive stages, according to Staton’s posting.


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