Home / Crops / Soybeans / Soybeans Production / Planting soybeans too deep decreases yield potential

Planting soybeans too deep decreases yield potential

Agriculture.com Staff 04/16/2007 @ 9:29am

When it comes to soybeans, planting deeper isn't always better. In fact, more than 50% of Indiana farmers are planting outside of the recommended range, says a Purdue University expert.

"Only 46% of Indiana soybean growers plant in the recommended seeding depth, which is three-fourths of an inch to an inch and a half deep," says Shawn Conley, Purdue Extension soybean specialist. "About 42% of growers are planting deeper than an inch and a half."

Because many farmers are planting soybeans earlier than they used to, planting the seeds too deep can prove detrimental to yields.

"If growers are planting soybeans deeper, plus moving the planting date earlier, that seed is in the ground in cold, wet soils, and that can lead to issues related to stand establishment," Conley says in a Purdue report.

In addition to cold, wet soil exposure, seeds planted too deeply take longer to emerge and are more susceptible to pathogens, Conley says.

"As we shift to an earlier planting date, continuing to plant that seed two inches or deeper takes anywhere from 18 to 24 days for emergence," Conley says. "By planting deep and planting early, we're allowing more time for that soybean plant, as it emerges, to be exposed to different pathogens and different issues that may further hinder emergence.

"As growers shift to that earlier planting date, we need to go out and make sure that our drill or planter unit is calibrated and set correctly based on whatever tillage regimen we use, whether no-till or conventional-till, and we're getting uniform depth at three-quarters to an inch and a half deep."

While paying attention to seeding depth is one of the simplest ways to improve stand establishment and yield potential, there are other preparations farmers can be making for the upcoming planting season, Conley says.

"Growers need to make sure that as they go through their equipment, the bearings are in correct working order, everything is greased and everything is in tip-top shape so that once they are able to plant, they don't have any mechanical problems," he says.

And because Indiana has less-than-predictable spring weather, Conley said farmers need to make sure equipment is working properly so they can take advantage of nice weather early in the planting season, which can ultimately maximize yields.

By paying attention to seeding depth and taking the time to prepare for the planting season, Conley says growers can improve stand establishment, achieve a more uniform stand emergence and maximize yield potential.

When it comes to soybeans, planting deeper isn't always better. In fact, more than 50% of Indiana farmers are planting outside of the recommended range, says a Purdue University expert.

CancelPost Comment
MORE FROM AGRICULTURE.COM STAFF more +

Farm and ranch risk management resources By: 07/07/2010 @ 9:10am Government resources USDA Risk Management Agency Download free insurance program and…

Major types of crop insurance policies By: 07/07/2010 @ 9:10am Crop insurance for major field crops comes in two types: yield-based coverage that pays an…

Marketing 101 - Are options the right tool… By: 07/07/2010 @ 9:10am "If you are looking for a low risk way to protect yourself against prices moving either higher or…

MEDIA CENTERmore +
This container should display a .swf file. If not, you may need to upgrade your Flash player.
Holiday Profit Taking Pressures Markets