Soybeans can overcome thin stands to yield well

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Despite months of planning, and careful planting, soybean growers often face replant decisions. DuPont Pioneer agronomists say it’s worthwhile to review several factors before deciding whether or not to replant soybeans.

First, stand assessment is often deceptive shortly after emergence. Soybeans add a new trifoliate leaf every three to five days and can fill in gaps in a short period of time.

Next, consider that seed treatments have an extra level of protection against early season insects and disease for the plants that did or will emerge. Biological seed treatments stimulate root growth and increase nodulation to enhance nutrient availability and uptake, plant health and yield potential.

Counting plants is the only way to calculate the difference between the current plant population compared to the goal. When determining stands, count questionable plants as one-half. After a potential surviving stand population is determined, yield potential can be estimated.

  • Soybeans in the vegetative stage can compensate well for thin stands.
  • One-half of a stand may produce close to 90 percent of a normal yield.
  • One-fourth of a stand may produce 75 percent of a normal yield.
  • In 30-inch rows, a stand of 3-4 plants per foot is acceptable if there are no large gaps and weeds are controlled.

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