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Picking Highest Yielding Week to Plant Soybeans Study

BECK’S Planting Date Study - 2014

Beck’s Hybrids PFR program conducts more than 75 different studies across multiple locations (500+ acres) to learn how different management practices and new technologies perform in field environments. Simply put, it is research focused with the farmer in mind. To see the entire study, please download the PFR Book and see page 228.

When should I start planting soybeans? In the spring this is a question that we hear quite often. At each of the five PFR sites, we perform a planting date study to see when that optimum time to plant was each year. The goal of this study is to gather several years of data to help our customers narrow down the optimum planting time for soybeans.

The highest yielding week in this year’s planting date study (Figure 1) was the 4th week of April, but as we look across the entire graph there is not much variation throughout the entire study. Substantial yield losses did not occur until the end of May.

Figure 2 depicts long-term average yields of soybean planting dates from 2006-2014. From the first week of April to the last week of May, the difference between the highest average yield to lowest average yield is only 4.4 Bu./A. This suggests that there is a fairly large timeframe in which soybeans can be planted without sacrificing yield. Once planting is delayed into June, however, yield can take a major hit. Nine-year yield data indicates that late planting after the first week of June decreases yield by -5.3 Bu./A. per week.

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