Now Through May 15 Best for indiana Soybean Planting
Planting soybeans in Indiana before the mid-May dates recommended by Purdue Extension could reduce yields, but planting later can really hurt, according to a Purdue soybean specialist.
Ellsworth Christmas says his research has shown 10 percent to 50 percent yield losses in soybeans planted June 10-30. There also was a 10 percent yield loss in fields planted before April 25. The agronomist recommended that farmers target May 5 through May 15 as the best window for planting soybeans in an average year.
Christmas tested eight planting dates between April 1 and June 30 at four Purdue agricultural research centers in 1991-1994. Five varieties were planted at each of the research farms in Porter, Tippecanoe, Randolph and Jennings counties.
Results showed a small yield gain for early planting in one year of the study, "but it didn't carry through for the life of the study," Christmas says. Yields for fields planted in the first week of April were 20 percent below yields for fields planted in mid-May. Planting from April 20-25 led to a 10 percent yield decrease.
"I won't argue with any farmer who wants to plant before April 25," Christmas says. He says no one can plant all their crops on the ideal day. He also says producers need to get their corn in first, because corn pays a greater yield penalty for late planting than soybeans do.
Christmas cautioned that his recommendations are for a typical year in central Indiana. Southern Indiana producers could start earlier, and northern producers might have to adjust to later dates. Christmas says he tries to have half his soybean fields planted by May 15. He uses data from the Indiana Agricultural Statistics Service to determine the average number of days per week suitable for field work. He then estimates when he would have to start to have half his soybeans in by May 15 and be finished planting by June 10.
As of April 27, Indiana farmers had planted about 10 percent of their intended soybean acreage, according to the Indiana Agricultural Statistics office at Purdue. The 10 percent figure was well ahead of the five-year average soybean planting progress for the date, which stands at just one percent.
Also, it will come as no surprise that by April 27 last year, NO soybeans had been planted in Indiana because of wet fields.