Why planting soybean early improves yield potential
- Early-planted soybean attract early-emerging, overwintered bean leaf beetles (BLB). Although some leaflet feeding may occur, the major concern is that BLB transmit Bean Pod Mosaic Virus.
- Early-planted soybean may require a longer time to emerge than late-planted soybeans, depending on soil temperature and soil moisture. Dry soils at planting are not conducive to germination.
- Water deficits later in the growing season inhibit growth and yield regardless of planting date.
- The extent of tillage and amount of residue cover affect soil temperatures. Although soil temperatures during the day don't vary as much with no-till as they do with other tillage systems, early-season soil temperatures are cooler with no-till. Lower temperatures slow the germination process and thus lengthen the time to V1, potentially reducing yield.
- For the first 48 hours after planting both corn and soybean need soil temperatures near 50°F to avoid chilling injury during the rapid water imbibition stage. After the first 48 hours, these crops usually have minimal problems continuing the germination process at soil temperatures well-below 50°F — assuming temperatures remain above freezing; germination will be slower, of course, but if a seed fungicide treatment was applied, there should have be no concerns about loss of germinating seedlings. Monitor your field's soil temperatures on the days preceding planting and on the day of planting plus your forecast temperatures for your area for the next 48 hours to estimate the likelihood of stable or increasing soil temperatures.
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