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Expect Soybean Planting to Begin as Soon as Conditions are Right

Expect Soybean Planting to Begin as Soon as Conditions are Right
Target planting dates for soybeans not much different than for corn.

When one farmer was asked recently if he would plant corn and soybeans at the same time, he answered emphatically, "yes." And that's not all.

"We'll actually start planting soybeans sooner in a normal year," he says. "We've found that soybeans can stand a little more dinging if you get cool weather after planting than corn."

That agrees well with conclusions for a Purdue University study two decades ago and an Indiana Prairie Farmer/Beck's Hybrids study about 10 years ago. In both cases it took temperatures in the mid-20's for several hours to begin to kill off soybean seedlings. Conventional wisdom was always that they were more sensitive to cold than corn. Conventional wisdom was wrong.

Don't forget me! Soybean seed wants to be in the ground producing seedlings as early as possible too, not still stuck in the bag or a bulk bin.

Related: 5 Steps to Successful Planting in a Cool Spring

In a poll conducted at a series of grower meetings over the winter, Brian Denning, an AIM agronomist for Stewart Seeds, polled farmers about when they intended to start planting soybeans if conditions were right. The answers weren't that much different from when they would prefer to start planting corn, just skewed a bit toward later preferred dates.

About one in five would like to be planting soybeans between April 1 and April 15. A whopping 36% would hope to be in the field planting soybeans any time after April 15 through April 30. Almost one in four would rather start May 1 to May 15. That is a higher number than the preferred start date for corn. Most farmers wanted to start corn plan ting in April.

Related: Poll Says Nearly Everyone Would Start Planting, If They Could

One in 10 still prefer starting to plant soybeans from May 15 to May 30, also different than what was found when farmers were asked when they would like to start planting corn. Another 11% would start planting after that. Note that double-cropping was not broken out in the question. It's possible some of those preferring to plant at the later dates were referring to double-crop soybeans.

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