Word within the seed industry continues to be that you will want to pay close attention to how your planters are set up to plant soybeans this spring. For some it may mean getting a different plate for air planters, or making adjustments.
"We're definitely seeing it in seed counts per pound coming back on our seed lots," says Brian Denning with A.I.M., a research arm for Monsanto, and specifically, Stewart Seeds. Stewart Seeds published a guide containing articles on research. The booklet also contains information on how to set various makes of planters up to do a good job of planting soybeans.
If you have access to that information or can get it from another source, it will be helpful, Denning says. "There were some problems last year with big seed, and it will be an issue again this year."
Larger seed size for the same varieties is likely linked to good growing conditions where the seed was grown, he notes.
Denning says some of the lots of seed for Stewart varieties have come back at 1,900 to 2,500 seeds per pound. "The 1,900 would be extreme, but the point is that many varieties available to plant will have bigger seed size than normal," he emphasizes. "You just need to be aware of it so you can adjust your planting equipment and make sure you plant the proper amount of seed per acre."
The tendency would be to under plant and have less seeds per acre planted if the planter isn't set correctly, he says.
Denning adds that the seed quality in most cases is very good. It's just that seed size will be an issue. When it comes to seed corn, you can expect somewhat smaller kernels and more flats, he notes. The same good growing conditions led to more ears and more kernels in corn. With more kernels packed together there will likely be fewer rounds and more flats.