Chill in the Spring

Successful Farming - - YIELD QUEST -

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.

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