April 5, 2013 - by Jeff Shaner, AgVenture Product Team
Day 2 - Planting Perfection
Prioritized planting date for soybeans. You have 2 goals here:
1. Plant into fit conditions: You only get one chance to do this right. Don't stomp your seed into soils that are too cold, too wet, and too unfit to give your seed its best start possible.
2. Having said that, your planting date for soybeans should be earlier than you may have targeted in the past. Fit conditions often occur much sooner than when the typical soybean field gets planted. So why aren't we planting soybeans at this time? Another crop like corn gets prioritized and the beans are left for a later date because of manpower and equipment limitations. We do not have a prioritized plan for optimal soybean profitability...and then we complain that soybean yields haven't advanced much.
In many regions of the country, the best time to plant soybeans is when you are first planting corn. I've seen customer after customer heed this advice year after year and it pays off for them. Plants understand the passing of time. When you hold off planting until later than optimal, soy plants feel the need to push vegetative growth. When you plant with a prioritized planting date for soy, these plants understand that they have time to get the vegetative growth they need and can concentrate on more productive goals...like building nodes and adding flowers. Prioritized plants are actually shorter than those planted later, yet have more podding potential.
Worried that if you plant sooner, then your crop may mature too early and miss some late rains? Adjust your product selection to fit your new plan. If you would have normally planted a 2.8 and 3.1 for example, perhaps by pushing your planting date up a couple weeks you now need a 3.0 and a 3.3. Space doesn't allow here for all considerations in selecting a planting date for your area to be outlined, but please understand the concept: in most situations soybeans are currently being planted later then they should be when your target is maximum profit.