Chill in the Spring
Soybeans are tougher than you think. BASF data shows early planted soybeans set up higher yields. In Illinois, March-planted soybeans that snow fell on several times before emergence yielded well, says A.J. Woodyard, a BASF technical crop production specialist based in Ivesdale, Illinois.
“Soybeans can handle cold temperatures prior to emergence just fine,” he says.
Tillage is a different story. Tilling excessively wet soils can haunt you during the entire growing season.
“I can’t tell you how many times that tillage passes made while the soils were wet have led to horizontal compaction layers,” says Woodyard.
It’s understandable why this mistake is made. If you’re behind the eight ball and the 10-day forecast shows continual rain and you need to till the field prior to planting, fieldwork often wins out. Still, congested and shallow roots that can’t penetrate subsoil due to compacted hardpan are signs of fields tilled under excessively wet conditions, says Woodyard.
“Once this occurs, you can’t recover the rest of the year,” he says.