Extension educators highlight early planting season

Soybean researchers at land-grant universities across the country compared field notes Friday as the planting season wraps up for most growers.

Laura Lindsey with Ohio State University says planting conditions were extremely good at the beginning of April. “We got away with early planting I think pretty good, some stands were reduced but not a situation where you would replant—they were dinged a little bit by frost,” she says.  “

Jeremy Ross at the University of Arkansas describes this year as one of hurrying up and waiting as 20 percent of the crop still needs to be planted. “Pretty much a typical year here in Arkansas, the running joke is we’re only two weeks away from harvesting soybeans and being planting, that’s the way it’s going to this year with everything spread out,” he explains.

South Dakota State University’s Johnathan Kleinjan says dry conditions led to planting starting at the beginning of April with more than 90 percent of beans planted as of this past week. “We’ve got guys pushing planting beans April 10th, April 15th, one of these years it’s going to be a disaster,” he says.  “I think the optimal range for planting is April 25th to May 10th for both crops.”

Emerson Nafziger with the University of Illinois says soil conditions in his state are adequate with stands looking good for the early start but cool weather has slowed development.  “Don’t worry too much, the most of flowering that ends up with pods happens after the longest day of the year, it would be good if that could start by the end of June,” he explains.

Purdue University’s Shaun Casteel says Mother Nature brought dry, wet, and even snow to the start of the season and soybeans are pulling through. “Overall, we’re very fortunate in the setups whether we had crusting issues, dry soils, and some of those stand issues,” he says.  “We all can have an appreciation that soybeans can adapt.”

Carrie Knott at the University of Kentucky echoed progress in dry conditions but highlighted widespread pest pressure in early planted beans in no-till and cover cropping systems especially with slugs.

Michigan Soybean Committee’s Mark Season meanwhile says Michigan had some issues with seed corn maggot causing stand loss in soybeans, but the dryness has kept the slug damage to a minimum.

Specialists also compared notes on herbicide supply shortages and cautioned the need to remain vigilant about spraying the wrong field as products this year might have changed to combat weed pressure.

Two more webinars are planned for July and August for additional growing season updates.

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