Better planting equipment, improved soybean genetics and technology advancements such as seed treatments and weed control systems have moved soybean planting dates earlier in recent years. Last year 34% of Iowa’s soybean crop was planted by early May; this year only 1% of Iowa’s soybean acres are planted as of May 13.
Although there is a correlation to higher yield potential with earlier planting dates, it’s important to remember that soybeans respond favorably to early-planting datesif soil conditions are ideal for planting. Conditions weren’t fit for planting soybeans in late April or early May.
One silver lining in the delayed soybean planting is that soil temperatures have warmed. We recommend planting soybeans when soil temperatures are about 60 degrees, and soil temperatures were averaging only in the low 60s around May 15.
Planting into a field that is too wet or too cold early in the season will reduce emergence and plant population, which most often leads to reduced yield. Remember, planting soybeans in warm but wet soils can also have a detrimental impact on yield. Patience will continue to be key this planting season!
Field work is in full swing this week. Whether or not you’re a farmer, be a defensive driver! Practice patience and share the road.
The wild spring weather continues to hinder planting progress across Latham Country. Widespread rain fell on Thursday and Friday, so there were only about 1.5 days of fit conditions for planting last week. Then an extreme cold front moved through the area over the weekend, followed by a heat wave on Monday.
Farmers across the state were busy yesterday with fieldwork including tilling, applying fertilizers and herbicides, as well as planting. It will be interesting to hear their progress reports. Just 15 percent of Iowa’s corn acreage has been planted as of Sunday; at this time last year, 86 percent of the corn acreage was planted. The five-year average is 79 percent, showing just how extreme the 2012 and 2013 seasons have been. This is the first year since 1993 that less than 20 percent of corn acres were planted by May 12, according to a May 13 reportby the Iowa Department of Agriculture & Land Stewardship.
Soybean planting in Iowa was 1 percent compete as of May 12, which is well behind last year’s 34 percent and the five-year average of 30 percent. This is the latest start to soybean planting since 1995, according to the Iowa Department of Agriculture & Land Stewardship.
To see how fieldwork and planting activities are progressing throughout Latham Country, click on the drop-down menu below.
To help provide “picket fence stands,” corn growers must make proper planter adjustments. It’s also important to match the planter speed to field conditions and to avoid planting seeds in extremely poor soil conditions.
Planting in soils that are too wet can lead to sidewall compaction. The under-developed root systems resulting from the compaction are often confined in a flat plane within the furrow trench. Planting in too wet of soil, especially with coulters, allows sticky soil to build up on gauge wheels resulting in planting depth differences.
Shallow planting places seed in differing soil moisture levels and can result in differing emergence dates. Shallow planting also can lead to a shallow secondary root system. “Rootless corn” may result, or plant development may be greatly delayed compared to neighboring plants.
Failure to close the furrow is usually caused by poor soil conditions, improper closing wheels for field conditions, incorrect down pressure, or planting in sod. Worn or improperly adjusted planter parts can cause or aggravate all the previously mentioned problems.
Make sure your planter does all its jobs properly: open the seed furrow without sidewall compaction; place seeds at a uniform depth; and close the seed slot without compaction. Stop the planter frequently and physically check to ensure you’re getting uniform seed depth and good seed-to-soil contact. Although it will take a few extra minutes in the spring, you’ll be glad you did when it’s time to harvest those extra bushels come fall!
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When I sit down to write articles for our blog, I feel like I'm sitting down with my family at the dinner table, ready to talk about news from the field while we enjoy one of our favorite recipes. Whether you're looking for information to help you in the field, are interested in trying a farm family's favorite recipe or simply want to see what others are doing to help feed and fuel the world, we cover it here at The Field Position! Thanks for visiting us today and we hope to hear from you again soon!