Streaky showers and hit-and-miss rains over the past 10 days slowed up planting for those who were almost finished, and made things even more dicey in areas where field work has been limited.
There's one piece of good news, however. While it may not be your ideal choice of planting date, you've still got time to plant soybeans and harvest good yields.
The Purdue University Corn & Soybean pocket Field Guide and its companion iPad app say that based on past research if you plant today you will likely still have a chance to harvest 100% of yield potential.
The date actually given in the Guide to achieve 100% is May 20. That assumes you are planting a mid-season or full-season variety for your area.
However, by May 30, the percent of yield possible slips only to 96 for a mid-season variety and 94% for a full-season variety.
The situation begins to change in June, especially the farther north you go in Indiana. If you are delayed until June 10, you can expect 92% of yield as if you had planted on time. That's if you plant a mid-season variety.
Expect 90% of full yield with a full season variety. So if you expected 60 bushels per acre planting the first week of May with a full-season variety, now you can still expect 54 bushels per acre.
By June 30 it's slipped to 70% for a mid-season and it's no longer recommended to plant a full-season variety. But even 70% of 60 bushels beginning potential explains why some double-crop soybeans easily top 40 bushels per acre.
What the chart doesn't say is that while these are averages, the truth is what you can expect is highly weather dependent. When weather went his way, one farmer planted June 20 many years ago and still harvested 53 bushels per acre. If weather isn't on your side, the cost for late planting may be steeper.
The real point: it's certainly not time to panic about planting soybeans yet. You might want to check with your seedsman to see if you're planting the right maturity for the planting date.
For farmers to maximize soybean yields, they need to maximize their management. Often soybean management takes a backseat to corn, but it doesn't have to. Download our free report, Boost Your Soybean Yield, for a one-stop look at ways you can better manage your crop.