Planting Season 2024 Blog

Planting Season 2024

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Planting season 2024 is here. Spring is a beautiful time of year as it offers a new beginning to life.

Let's discuss soybeans and look ahead to October's harvest. Two things determine soybean yield: the number and size of the beans. Think of it this way: a bushel basket has a set volume. What do you need to fill that volume with soybeans?

The number of beans we harvest has a more significant impact on yield (filling volume) than the size of the beans. Dr. Connor Sible and the University of Illinois have research and data to confirm this. So, how do we raise more beans?

To make beans, we need pods. To make pods, we need flowers. To make flowers, we need nodes. To make more nodes, we can plant earlier.

Earlier planted beans tend to yield more because of node development. Dr. Jim Specht from the University of Nebraska once told me that each day soybean planting gets delayed beyond May 1st, you generally lose half a bushel of yield potential. Yield loss comes from reduced node development.

There are three primary influencers on planting dates: weather, weather, and weather. Ultimately, Mother Nature decides when the optimal planting date is and also determines the optimal seeding rate (seeds per acre planted). As farmers, we make an educated guess. The correct answers are unknown, and each year is different.

Cold and wet conditions are not ideal for early planting. Also, if freezing occurs after soybean emergence, there can be a risk of frost damage. Mother Nature always wins. As best we can, we work with Mother Nature to prepare our soils ahead of time for planting.

Planting season isn't just about the here and now. Soil management is critical to setting your farm up for a successful planting season. This year, planting was on a roll before the rain event on April 16th. Some fields are ready to plant sooner following the rain. Soil management practices, such as drainage tile, tillage (or no-till), manure, and cover crops, can influence how quickly farmers return to planting after rainfall.

We hope you enjoyed this ag article about planting soybeans. 

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