In order to maximize potential yield, soybean growers who have yet to plant should do so as soon as possible. Syngenta Agronomy Research studies across several Midwestern geographies show that timely planting is of the utmost importance, as the rate of yield loss after May 25 is over 2.5 bu/A per week, regardless of growing region. These studies have also shown that for each week planting is delayed, soybean maturity is only delayed by 2.8 days.

“With soybean prices reaching near-record highs, growers should ensure that their management practices help them obtain the most bushels out of their fields,” said Bruce Battles, Syngenta Agronomy Marketing Manager. “The superior lineup of NK® brand soybeans includes options in various relative maturity ratings that allow growers to maximize their yield, no matter when they plant.”

Syngenta Agronomy Research analysis of multi-year trials at multiple Midwest locations provides insight on the issue of delayed planting. Full season varieties at both northern and central Corn Belt locations yielded best when planted at early or normal planting dates. It was not until June planting dates at northern locations that early season varieties matched yields of full season varieties, largely due to maturation prior to frost.

If weather or soil conditions in northern regions cause delayed planting, growers should consider only switching to soybean varieties with relative maturity ratings 0.6-0.8 earlier than that of full season varieties. These earlier varieties provided maximum yield in locations north of the I-80 corridor. However, full season varieties always out-yielded earlier maturing varieties in locations within or south of the I-80 corridor. Growers in these central regions should stay with their original full season varieties in order to maximize yield, even when planting in June.

Warm soils with temperatures above 50 degrees Fahrenheit at a depth of two inches provide the best environment for seed germination. If ideal planting conditions aren’t available, growers can rely on CruiserMaxx® Beans insecticide/fungicide seed treatment to increase stands and early season vigor in cool and damp soils by controlling seedling diseases, and other insect pests.

Should replanting be required, growers must decide what replanting strategy best meets their end goals. When replanting an entire field, a relative maturity rating that maximizes yield and minimizes frost risk should be chosen. If replanting partial areas of a field, it may be more valuable to synchronize maturity dates to avoid harvest delays. For more specific planting guidelines, see the Soybean Planting Date and Replant Tool from Syngenta Agronomy Research. For more information on selecting the NK brand soybean varieties best suited for delayed planting in your area, contact your local Garst or Golden Harvest Dealer or NK Seeds Retailer.