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Should You Replant Soybeans?

Should You Replant Soybeans?
Purdue Field Guide contains charts that simplify the decision making process. The first step is knowing how many soybeans you have in the field.

Maybe it was cool weather that did some of the soybean seed you planted in. Perhaps it was dry weather early in some areas, or maybe too much rain sitting on saturated soils alter in other areas. Whatever the cause if you're wondering whether you should leave a stand of soybeans that is less than perfect or replant them, here's how to take some emotion out of the decision. Let numbers do part of the talking for you.

Should You Replant Soybeans?

You'll find helpful information in the Purdue University Corn & Soybean Field Guide published by the Purdue Crops Diagnostic Training Center. First, there are instructions on using a hula-hoop or circle of stiff wire to determine stand counts in the field. Make sure you get a picture of the field that is fair. Stand losses may not be consistent from one a part of the field to the other. You may want to do counts in different locations. Each time you pick a part of the field to check, roll the hoop several times and take the counts, then come up with an average count. Only rolling once in an area may produce a faulty number.

The Guide provides a chart that you can use based upon the diameter of the hoop you're using and the average count to determine population. Suppose you use a 30-inch hoop and find 12 plants on average inside the hoop. The table says you have 107,000 plants per acre in the area that you are checking. Is that enough to produce a reasonable stand?

There's another chart that indicates the potential of original yield you can expect based upon the stand, compared to having obtained 100% stand. At 107,000, you're between 80,000 and 120,000 plants per acre- numbers in the chart. The percentage of expected full potential yield for those two points is 96% and 100%, respectively. So you could assume you ought to be able to still get 98 to 99% of potential yield. That means you may have sacrificed 0.5 to 1 bushel per acre. Even at $15 per bushel soybeans, that's only $7.50 to $15 per acre less return that you would expect, on average, if you leave the stand vs. tearing it up.

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