Soybean Preps

(Jim) Good morning folks, welcome to That’s My Farm. I’m Jim Shroyer, your host and you’re in luck because we’re on the campus of K-State, an Agronomy farm and we’re also going to be talking to Dr. Ignacio Ciampitti our crops specialist, about soybeans. It’s that time of the year so we’ve got to take this break, come back right after these words from our sponsors.

(Jim) Good morning folks, welcome to That’s My Farm. I’m Jim Shroyer your host and we’re in luck because we have Dr. Ignacio Ciampitti with us and we’re going to be talking about soybeans because, Ignacio, it’s time. I know some people probably already planted by now, but we’re going to go through some of the basics and have you tell us what we should be looking for; so Ignacio, let’s talk about planting day right off the bat. (Ignacio) Yeah, our planting day is one of the big factors, if you’re looking to increase soybean yield potential. Let me go back to this point of yield potential. There are some people that we’re trying to maximize and we have very good weather and environment. (Jim) High yield environment? (Ignacio) High yield environment. But when someone is talking about high yield, someone always asks the question What do you refer to with high yields? And usually we are always trying to say when we are thinking about high yields, at least we need to talk about 60-70 bushels. Can we reach those points? We have a few places across the state that we can reach 70, and sometimes even 80 bushels. The lucky guys can get over there. For that specific farmer, we know planting day is critical. We have very good information showing anytime that we are anticipating planting, whenever we have good conditions as the soil temperature, we are gaining yields. So anytime that we are delaying that planting time by 1, 2 or 3 weeks, we are seeing that maximum potential yields in soybean is declining. They start to slide. But that brings the point in how early you can go. And then soil temperature is one of the main factors. (Jim) You know, this Spring, the soil temperatures have been fairly warm, obviously since January, it’s been nice and warm, except for a few days, soil temperatures have been fairly warm. (Ignacio) But still I think, if we go back, first weeks of March, and maybe even mid-March/late-March, we still have some situations that the temperatures who are going air temperatures reaching 20 or 30 degrees in the week…which was immediately impacting soil, the soil went sometimes at 4-inch soil depth were seeing variations of 10 degrees. (Jim) Really? (Ignacio) Ok? So that is a big factor and we were seeing variations in North-West Kansas, we’re not seeing much soybean on that area, but also in North-East, and that is a moment that we start to say to farmers, be careful, OK? Planting too early, planting when soil temperatures at 2, 4 inches, are below 60 degrees. That would produce some impact and that soybean will be sitting on the soil for several weeks, and then when the soybean is not reacting, soil temperatures are probably too low. Then is when we start to have issues, low emerges, lack of uniformity, and then add to that, insects issues and also fungus problems. (Jim) Diseases, right. (Ignacio) Diseases like Phytophthora, Fusarium, so any kind of damping off, events that we will have, fungus early in season will impact our soybean.(Jim) So we’re talking about cool, wet conditions? (Ignacio) Exactly. (Jim) OK. Hang on here. Folks, we’ll be right back after these words from our sponsors.

(Jim) Welcome back to That’s My farm. I’m Jim Shroyer, and Ignacio Ciampitti didn’t run off during the break, glad you didn’t either! So Ignacio, so we talked a little bit about planning dates and make sure soil temperature is above 60 degrees for a few days, obviously, before you plant. And now let’s talk a little bit about plant populations. I think that’s one of the ways to save money if you don’t plant too many and but you don’t want too little. Talk to us about what you’re doing, what your thought process is and some of the research. (Ignacio) This year and the previous year we are working with several farmers across the state and in fact this year we are conducting for the United Soybean Board some on-farm research. The main goal when we conduct the applied research for farmers we want to look to how we can minimize and save some input costs. One of the main questions that we have are from farmers working on the too high end of populations. So we are talking a lot about 150,000 seeds per acre. (Jim) In 30 inch rows that’s about nine seeds per foot row and about 156,000, right? (Ignacio) Exactly. So our question is, let’s take a look to see if we can work in seed rate of 130,000; 100,000; 120,000 to see which one is our optimum and know not only agronomically speaking but also economically speaking. When do we get to the optimum where we are maximizing profits, not only maximizing the yields, which sometimes is not really on the same points. So what research historically saying to us is that soybeans they have really to compensate. They can compensate small gaps, and they can branch if the length of the season is enough. We are going to late planting we start facing some issues, those plants they have less time for the compensation process, to start branching. So in those situations we know to push the population, even going to 10 percent of the optimum we are using is a good idea because we would produce more ports for more plants. But let’s go back to the situations that we’re facing today. So our research is showing that population seems to be connected to yield potential. If we’re going to 40 bushels, or 50 bushels, I would say we are looking at 100 or 120,000 effective plants, at the end of the season. If we are looking at less than 30 bushels or 35 bushels we are looking at 80,000 plants, we can still make those yields. (Jim) So that’s plants at the end of the season. 80,000 that’s right at 4 plants per foot of row. (Ignacio) Exactly. And when you are looking at how do I get those numbers and start thinking of seeds per acre. I mean most of the time we tend to use 10, 15 percent correction factor, so you are going 10, 15 percent extra on the number of seeds when you are planting. And then that’s kind of one of the main points that we need to be careful. We don’t want to work on the low end or we don’t want to work in the high end. In the high end we are seeing that we’re losing profit because we are still planting way too much soybean seeds when the yields are not really changing much. (Jim) they kind of plateaued. (Ignacio) And on the low end we need to be careful because if we are open too much space, if we are not having good uniformity any condition of planting we would probably lose some yield. (Jim) We used to talk about if you increased the number of seed per row they help each other emerge. So if you get too few, they don’t necessarily help if you add some crusting. (Ignacio) And the other issue that we face there is control. (Jim) That’s right.
(Ignacio) and that’s one of the main issues for soybean farmers. (Jim) We’ve got to take a break. We’ve got more to talk about. Folks, we’ve got lots more to talk about so stay with us we’ll be right back after these words from our sponsors.

(Jim) Welcome back to That’s My Farm. Ignacio Ciampitti, our crop specialist, here at K-State, is still with us. Ignacio, let’s talk a little bit about row spacing, that’s always a question that I used to get a lot. Should I narrow the row spacing? Should I keep it in 30 inches? What’s your take on row spacing now? (Ignacio) Well, row spacing is a critical factor when you are thinking about increasing yields and maximizing your yield potential. The main thing that we are explaining when we are talking about narrow rows is narrow rows is helping us to close the canopy earlier and an idea of intercepting more light. And the light interception is an equation, more light interception tends to equal 92 more yields. Because basically what we are doing is increasing the duration of the crop. That crop has more time intercepting light. What happens sometimes in the wide row spacing is we are seeing sometimes those canopy are still open until the end of the season. (Jim) Like last year. (Ignacio) Like last year, we were seeing… (Jim) In drought conditions. (Ignacio) Exactly Several situations canopies they never closed. You know from there just by watching those plants, you know that we are missing yields so when you are thinking narrow rows, one of the big factors is your yield potential so when you are looking at more than 50 bushels potential for your environment, it makes a lot of sense to work in narrow rows because we can capture more yields. Last year, we had very nice 3 or 4 different farmers working across different areas of the state and we were capturing sometimes between 2, 5 bushels by just only narrow rows and some of the questions are that doesn’t seem to be a big difference, right? But then when you talk to the farmers, the main thing that was coming to their mind was not only the yield advantage but also the weed control. (Jim) Exactly, because you are covering. Go ahead. (Ignacio) You are covering early in the season so you have even less opportunity for those weeds to come out. You are suppressing them and I think that the farmers were looking at that as kind of another tool that they have in the toolbox to make sure that they are more efficient in controlling weeds and you are saving input; so when they add this into the question, they start to think OK, it’s not just my yield advantage, if I have it, but it’s also how much I’m saving on using larvicides. (Jim) Right, so you can cut down possibly one application? (Ignacio) Exactly, but I’m always talking to farmers and say if you are on the lower end of yields, when you are going through dryland conditions, like 40, or below 40 bushels, is that a good idea to narrow rows? And most of the times, in the drought conditions we are looking at it does not tend to be a good idea to narrow rows. (Jim) But it’s not a negative necessarily. It’s usually equal to 30 inch. (Ignacio) Exactly, but our thought in the process is if you narrow rows, those plants, they tend to compete early in the season, they tend to produce more roots, and then we see that they are taking out more nutrients and water early in the season. When those plants are reaching flowering, they are running out of water. (Jim) So let me paraphrase that: if you use narrow rows, that’s not necessarily saying that drought conditions are going to yield lower than 30 inches. You’re just saying that, because of the root proliferation, the narrow canopy may show drought stress a few days earlier than the wide rows. (Ignacio) Exactly right, yeah. (Jim) OK, hang on, we’ve got to take a break. Folks, stay with us, we’ll be right back after these words from our sponsors.

(Jim) Welcome back to That’s My Farm. I am Jim Shroyer. Ignacio Ciampitti is with us and Ignacio we’ve been talking about row spacing, plant population, one thing that comes to my mind is maturity groups. That’s always an issue of planting early; planting late, after wheat harvest that sort of thing, so let’s talk about maturity groups in soybeans and kind of what’s your thought process. (Ignacio) It’s kind of a good question that we have from farmers. Last year for example, we have several farmers talking to us to think about the idea of changing maturity groups because they weren’t going late. If you remember last growing season we have several days of rain. (Jim) Oh yeah, finally started raining in May. (Ignacio) Oh yeah, this season is looking quite similar for next coming weeks in terms of rain so we might probably be having a lot of calls from farmers about, okay should I move my planting maturity group or not? At what point do you make the decision of changing your maturity group? So if you look at the State of Kansas we have kind of a nice separation between group three, group four and we have some group five in South East, right? And then when you’re looking to optimal maturity group we are conducting a study in five locations across the state since 2014. We just put some of that information in our agronomy update. What are we finding is like when we’re going to East Central and when we’re looking at maximum yield potential we’re always working on early threes or late threes. When we’re going to more South Central we are always trying to work more with groups four and sometimes even mid-fours and then when we’re going to South East it’s a totally different story. (Jim) Some fours but mainly fives. (Ignacio) Exactly, so we’re also just playing with some five, five-two, OK? There’s one main point that I want to make sure is clear is when we’re working with maturity groups, planting day is also a factor interacting. Most of times we see that if we are delaying planting a month is when we start to see some benefits in potentially changing our maturity groups. (Jim) But you’re talking about going from a group four to a group two or early group three, you’re talking about staying within minute. (Ignacio) Oh really, yeah. When you’re, let’s put an example: we’re working with a farmer in selecting maturity groups for a planting that was first week of May, we’re using a group four. Some of the rain was delaying our planting time in some other areas and we received a call he was asking about when will be the optimal time and he was getting very close to mid-June, late June, okay? In that case we have some information showing that if you go to group 3.5 it might be an opportunity to still get the crop to finalize but not really lose too much potential, because if you go to shore, you need to be careful. You are losing yields. (Jim) I think, if memory serves me right, if you jump maturity groups too far what happens is the plant flowers too soon and you’re not producing that many nodes and that’s where the pods are. (Ignacio) Exactly, you’re losing your yield potential. If you don’t have nodes, you don’t have pods. If you don’t have pods, you don’t have yields. (Jim) Hang on here; we got to take a break. Folks, we’ll be right back after these words from our sponsors.

(Jim) Welcome back to That’s My Farm. I’m Jim Shroyer with Ignacio Ciampitti, our row crop specialist at K-State. Ignacio, we’ve talked about a wide range of there, let’s talk about some of the problems that we often face with soybeans planted too wet, too early, too cool, too dry and what have you. Let’s talk a little bit about some of the problems that producers need to be watching for, prior to planning, at planning, and shortly thereafter. (Ignacio) One of the things that I like to talk to farmers about is the idea of thinking that one of the critical stages for soybean development and yield formation is planting. It’s the way that soybeans are coming out of the ground. It’s quite different when you compare it with a kind of corn, wheat, even sorghum, so I’m always trying to emphasize the problem compaction or not really good planting conditions are one of the main factors affecting yields in soybeans. (Jim) I think compaction is much underplayed. I’ve seen in all the crops but soybeans can particularly be hurt with compaction nodulation. (Ignacio) Compaction is problems of nodulation, group formation, lack of really good anchorage in the plant and another thing is the roots, they not really forming very well; they are not really taking up nutrients. (Jim) Yeah, so you run into some nutrient deficiencies. (Ignacio) Nutrient deficiencies, poor nodulation, and also another thing that is critical some people tend to think that it’s stress environment, you will see any condition of lack of rain right away. (Jim) Because of the lack of proliferation of the root system. (Ignacio) Exactly, and sometimes what I’m emphasizing to our farmers is you may probably think that everything was fine planting time and you probably don’t see any issues, the plants are coming out, everything looks quite okay, and the moment that the soybeans start to increase the demand of nutrients, water, is the moment that you will start to see those deficiencies. You will never be seeing any nodulation problem probably early in the season. Most of the nodulation problems – you will be seeing those issues in July or August when the soybeans start really to take up a lot of nutrients. Seeing a situation where we’re on drought, you probably have only one week of really dry weather combining with heat temperatures, and then you will see basically that that plant is showing any kind of drought symptoms deficiency. Is that a drought condition? No. Those roots are not really proliferating and they are really restricted to the first section of the soil profile so the best way, and we did that with several farmers in the past, we just dig some plants and you start to see that the roots are very shallow. So the other thing is that they will translate everything at the end of the season, any problems on disease at the end of the season, even lodging situations. Last year, we had a lot of problems in some fields. Plants are the ones that are standing in the field because of really poor conditions in planting so I’m always suggesting to farmers to make sure you plat your soybeans in the best soil bed possible. (Jim) That doesn’t mean tilling the soil though? (Ignacio) No, no, no. It means just to make sure that we have good soil conditions and proper temperature, that’s all. If I need to wait one week, just do it. (Jim) Yeah. It’s better to maybe let it dry, or just a fraction, or let the temperature go up, just a fraction. (Ignacio) Yes. Exactly right. (Jim) Ignacio, thank for taking time for these little tidbits on soybeans. Appreciate it. (Ignacio) Thanks. (Jim) Folks, thanks for being with us, and don’t forget! Next time, about this same time, on Friday mornings, there’ll be another issue of That’s My Farm. See you then.

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