MSU explores management for early planted soybeans
Michigan State University agronomists are studying additional management strategies that can benefit early planted soybeans.
Mani Singh tells Brownfield growers are gaining two to four added bushels in soybeans from early planting and he’s researching what else can be without additional inputs.
“We are finding out that if you plant early, you have to push towards a longer bean, a late-maturing variety,” he says.
His research has also found increasing seeding rates during early planting doesn’t have a yield advantage but narrow row spacing still provides a five-to-seven-bushel yield bump.
Graduate student Storm Soat tells Brownfield he’s studying how fertility programs can help soybeans emerge faster and overcome a lag phase when planting early.
“If you can get that extra four to six weeks of growth in the beginning, even if it’s small growth—you’ve got a plant out of the ground, a root system started—you are 30 days ahead of somebody who hasn’t put a plant in a field yet,” he explains.
Singh says ultra-early planting does come with a greater risk of cold snaps, but cool weather above 45 degrees Fahrenheit in dry conditions has proven beneficial.
Both spoke with Brownfield during MSU’s Soybean Research and Crop Management Field Day and the results will be presented at upcoming winter meetings.