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Plant Fewer Seeds, Get More Yield


Plant Fewer Seeds, Get More Yield

better farming 1In the Hoosier Ag Today Better Farming video, a Purdue Soybean Specialist discusses how growers can plant fewer soybean seeds and actually get higher yields. Dr. Shawn Casteel’s research has led him to the conclusion that, if growers cut the number of soybean seeds they plant, their yields will remain the same, “We are talking reductions of 20,000, to 50,000 seeds per acre.”

It used to be that planting 200,000 seeds per acre was the norm. While soil type, equipment, and disease pressure are factors to consider when choosing a seeding rate, Casteel says growers can make significant reduction in seed use and not impact yield, “We are talking about planting between 125,000 and 175,000 seeds per acre depending on your soil type and equipment. I have talked with some growers this winter who want to cut their seeding rates down to 100,000 or below; and, with the right conditions, they are going to do just fine.”

During our Better Farming Video interview, Casteel showed research that proved you can actually increase yields with fewer soybean plants, “I have full field trials with no yield difference from 50,000 plants to 225,000 plants.”

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Economist Jim Mintert says this is a case where cutting costs can actually increase yields, “These research results suggest you can reduce your per acre seeding costs and not impact yield. That is the kind of win/win situation we don’t get in agriculture very often.” With soybean prices likely to be around the $9 mark, cutting per acre cost while not cutting yields is welcome news for producers.

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Watch the Better Farming video, sponsored by the Indiana Soybean Checkoff, on the Hoosier Ag Today You Tube channel.