Dr. Ignacio Ciampitti with Soybean Production Management Tips

(Dr. Ignacio Ciampitti) Good morning folks, I’m Dr. Ignacio Ciampitti, K-State Cropping System and Crop Production Specialist. Today I would like to just briefly provide some quick tips about soybean production management. We were on these area schools discussing some of the main topics related to input costs and trying to provide some insights on how we can start looking at profits and maximizing yields of soybeans. Soybeans as you know, there are many different factors affecting yields. We always talk about crop rotation, seed selection, seeding rates, planting date, nutrient fertility, weed control, fungicide, insecticide applications, and inoculation. Some of those factors are really critical when we are looking about increasing yields and improving profits in our fields. Let me talk about specifically three main factors, that we discussed in our schools for improving profits. One key point is planting dates, when you’re looking at planting time, we have in a study summarized in three years of information on soybeans planting date and maturity group. Looking at early planting, it tends to increase yields. When we are looking about April 14th planting time, sometimes it tends to be too early; soil temperatures are not at the optimal time. Even sometimes soil moisture might be not at the optimum. Plants– seeds that they’re planting at the specific point, it might take several weeks to come up. When we’re looking about optimal planting dates, we’re looking about last week of April, mid-April and going into the first week of May. We tend to see that the earlier we can go, then we have high probability to increase yields. When you’re looking about yields, we’re looking about yields that there are around 80 to 90 which is very high yielding situations. What will happen if you’re delaying planting date? In those situations, delay a planting date in our studies were showing that we are decreasing our yield potential. The maximum yield we can achieve by half a bushel per day. When you’re looking about your planting time, soybeans have a very wide window for planting. Take a look to your real potential factor, take a look to the best soil and moisture conditions, and make sure to check all equipment operations before planting your soybeans. Proper uniformity, proper seed placement, is really critical and key for high yields. Another factor was seeding rates. We discussed the points on how we can optimize our seeding rates. Then one of the factors that we tend to discuss was the idea of optimizing seeding rates based on yield environments. If we’re going to a very high yielding situation, we might need to increase our seeding rates, support more plants in field that they can cross more pollens to increase us and to reach those high yields. When you’re looking about lower yields, our optimal seeding rate tends to be lower and we can produce and we can reach 30 to 40 bushels with optimal seeding rates that they will probably be less than 120-110,000 seeds per acre. That is an important factor when you’re looking about economics for this coming growing season. Seeding rate is a factor that if we can cut back on areas of the field that they are less productive, in very poor areas, if we are cutting back 10,000 seeds, we can save $5 per acre. If we’re cutting back 20,000 seeds in consequence, we’ll be saving $20 per acre. Seeding rate is a factor that you should pay some attention to and make sure that we take a look before preparing for our planting season. One of the last factors that I really want to touch is about the idea of maximizing yields and looking at profits. When we are looking at those, the concept of narrowing rows is one of key factors for our soybean operations. Sometimes it’s some who are these days conducting the last year’s narrowing rows produce very small and minimum yield improvements from four, five to two bushels. One of the key factors that I would like to emphasize on looking at narrow rows, is the idea of those narrow row systems, 15 inches or 7.5 inches, they will tend to close canopy faster and that early canopy closures not only help us to improve light, but also will be helping us to leave less space for our weeds. In those situations, we control through our good key points and sometimes, in some of these scenarios on narrow rows, we might be able to save one pass or two passes of every side application, and be more effective in controlling our weeds. Look at these specific points and make sure that you plan ahead for your next coming planting soybean season.

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