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Serving: IN
ponding in soybean field
WET FIELD: Hopefully you don’t have ponding like this every year after planting soybeans. However, if you have poorly drained areas, Indiana CCAs recommend preparing for soilborne diseases.

Try these strategies for wet bean fields

Soybean Corner: What is the best way to handle fields going to soybeans that contain poorly drained soils?

I have a couple wet fields that aren’t pattern-tiled and are going to soybeans. Would I be better off waiting until May 15 or after to plant to reduce the chances of getting a seedling disease or having to replant? If I plant late, can I skip seed treatment?

The Indiana certified crop advisers panel this month includes: Gene Flaningam, Flaningam Ag Consulting LLC, Vincennes; Greg Kneubuhler, G&K Concepts, Harlan; and Tom Stein, Ceres Solutions Cooperatives, manager of the Templeton and Boswell branches.

Flaningam: If a field is poorly drained, then it may be the best economical approach to wait until field conditions are optimal. Choose a variety that has good phytophthora root rot resistance ratings. Soybean seed treatment becomes less effective if you’re planting in late May through early June. Make sure to choose a fuller-season soybean variety if you’re planting late. This will give the plant more time to develop and produce seed.

Kneubuhler: I think that it makes good sense to hold off on planting those poorly drained fields. Your risk of pythium, phytophthora, fusarium and dampening-off certainly goes up when conditions are wet, and especially if it’s also cool. If, however, ground conditions are good early and the forecast is favorable, I would not be afraid to plant, regardless of the date. I would not plant any soybean without a seed treatment, regardless of planting date. We’ve seen too much value with seed treatments, particularly fungicide seed treatments, to leave them off the seed.

Stein: Planting soybeans in these poorly drained fields after May 15 may not help you much because it’s what happens after you plant them that matters. Even late-planted soybeans usually end up having a period of cool, wet weather sometime soon after planting. Many of the soilborne diseases that seed treatments control don’t become active until the soil warms up anyway. I definitely would not skip the seed treatment, even when planting later. 

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