2013 Soybean Planting Progress

Trent Irby, Extension Soybean Specialist
By Trent Irby, Extension Soybean Specialist May 28, 2013 22:48

According to the USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service in Mississippi, 46% of the soybean acreage was planted as of the week ending May 26, 2013. At this time, 32% of the crop is emerged. Several areas around the state received rain yet again last week. Over the weekend and today (May 28), many have been able to get back into the field to resume operations.

Given the challenging weather we have been dealt this planting season, there have been numerous issues with inadequate soybean stands. The common question related to these issues is whether or not to replant. Unfortunately, calls continue to come in revolving around this topic. This is always a difficult question and can best be addressed on a field by field basis. Generally speaking, the total plant population should be addressed first. In other words, take stand counts from several areas within the field and calculate the estimated plant population per acre. In many cases, yield loss may not be observed for final populations at or above 75,000 healthy plants per acre.

Next, determine whether or not the existing population is fairly uniform, or if there are large skips in a row or blank areas within the field. If there is a fairly uniform stand, even at the low population listed above, replanting may not be necessary. However, if there are large skips within a row or blank areas across the field, it is possible that replanting is the best option. Areas with thin stands can become problematic later in the growing season due to increased weed or insect pressure.

If it is necessary to replant, factors such as current calendar date and termination of the existing stand can be important. We are still well within the planting window for soybean. However, keep in mind that replanting now will only mean a further delay at harvest for those replanted acres. If replanting is unavoidable, consider your options for terminating the existing stand. Failure to remove the existing plants could cause problems such as competition between the old and new crop as well as a difference in maturity. Having a difference in maturity of the two interplanted crops may cause issues at harvest.

In some cases, it can be more profitable to retain the old crop rather than terminating the stand and starting from scratch. Given that we are at the end of May, a soybean crop with a uniform population at or above 75,000 plants per acre is likely worth keeping. If the decision is made to stay with the existing stand, take extra precaution to protect the plants that you have as any further loss in population may have negative impacts on yield.

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Trent Irby, Extension Soybean Specialist
By Trent Irby, Extension Soybean Specialist May 28, 2013 22:48
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