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Serving: IN

Clock Is Ticking Toward June 1

Big decisions looming for some.

It's just another day on the calendar- June 1. Or is it? This year, with a late spring in many areas, it could prove to be an important date. Just like April 5 sounds much warmer than March 30, even though in reality it may not be, June 1 sounds later than May 30. If you still have corn to plant or soybeans to drill, or replants to consider, reality sets in once the calendar flips to June 1. It's June, and something has to happen fast if you're going to have a good harvest this fall.

Here are key decisions to think about as the calendar flips over this weekend.

  • If I've got corn to plant yet, should I switch to soybeans? Some are already planning to do so if not finished by then. Others say give it until at Least June 8. One factor may be availability of soybean seed. Apparently some major companies have good supplies of quality seed available, but others don't.
  • If I switch to soybeans, is it a good variety? Just because a company has seed with good germination scores available doesn't mean it's a good variety. Is it the right maturity groups for your area, or for your fall harvest plans? Will it come off early enough to sow wheat after if you wish, even planted late? Does it have nematode or other diseases and insect resistance or tolerance factors that you need in your area?
  • If you stay with corn this next week, what about hybrid choice? If you have a choice, should you move to an earlier hybrid? How much earlier should you go? Work closely with your seedsman. Again, make sure the hybrid you switch to meets your need. It shouldn't be just 'any port in the storm.' Those decisions can haunt you alter. The good news is that based on work by Bob Nielsen at Purdue University and Peter Thomison at Ohio State University, hybrids planted late tend to speed up development. A hybrid may cut off up to 200 growing degree days in maturity requirements if planted at this time of year.
  • What about nitrogen rates? If you're going to sidedress, or if you haven't applied N yet, can you cut back on rates since it's late in the spring and part of the biggest potential for loss, at least historically, is already past? That may depend upon what rate you typically apply anyway. Purdue is standing firm by a recommendation of 145 pounds per acre total N, on average statewide, for maximum economic yield, and 170 pounds per acre for maximum agronomic yield. That assumes planting corn after soybeans. It's also noted that rates may tend to need to be slightly higher in the eastern parts of Indiana, where soils are higher in clay content and typically lower in organic matter compared to the western side of the state.
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