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NCSRP Research Director: "Earlier Planting can Increase Soybean Yields"
Date:2/25/2009

ur planting date if your seedbed is too wet or muddy.

"If you do find yourself planting early in cold, wet and poorly drained soils, or if there's a history of soybean seedling diseases in your fields, consider a fungicide seed treatment to protect your stand," he adds. "Fungicide treated seed may be beneficial in reduced- and no-till fields too, as well as when you're planting seed with a low germination rate or low seed vigor."

Historically, university research has shown that seed treatments generally don't pay. "But growers are planting earlier, and the economics are changing. Seed costs are going through the roof, and seed treatments are being rolled into the price of seed," Wright says. "We're seeing more growers use treated seed and drop the seeding rate."


Lower seeding rates

According to Wright, planting fewer seeds is a good decision. "Checkoff-funded researchers have spent several years studying seeding rates and plant populations. They've found that planting more seed as insurance seldom pays off in higher yields."

Soybean seeding rates will vary depending on seed quality, row spacing, whether you use a planter or drill (and who's driving), soil type, seedbed condition and tillage system. "If you've got a good planter that gives you uniform seed placement and depth, and you're not pushing the early planting envelope, you're probably in the 150,000 to 160,000 live seed range," he adds. "If you're drilling beans in cold, muddy conditions, you'll be at the higher 190,000 range."

The goal is a

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