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Plant Soybeans Early for Better Yield

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Plant Soybeans Early for Better Yield

Shawn Casteel
Shawn Casteel

Most Hoosier farmers plant corn before soybeans, but research shows planting soybeans earlier can boost yields.  In a year where every bushel counts, timely planting will be key. While corn typically goes into the ground first, Dr. Shawn Casteel with the agronomy department at Purdue says timely planting of soybeans is also critical, “We can plant corn for a little bit, but then we need to switch to planting soybeans.”

Casteel says getting soybeans started early will mean increased yields, “In order to do that, you need to collect as many heat units and thermal energy as you can. So, if you can plant in a timely manner, you will get a while variety of physiological effects.” When should we plant? Casteel says late April to early May is the sweet spot in Indiana, “May 1st vs. May 31st is going to give you a lot more of a reproductive window.” He added increased leaf node and pod production will lead to greater yields. This year that may be difficult due to the cold and wet April we are experiencing.  Casteel says, however, the longer we wait, the less yield increase we will see.

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